Lifestyle Travel

Design-y Airbnbs Are Booking Up Fast in This 2024 Trending Destination

Here are 17 chic stays to start your search.
Samantha Weiss-Hills Avatar
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It seems like everyone in our Instagram feeds has been traveling around Japan this fall, and from what search bars are telling us, that doesn’t sound like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Airbnb just released its 2024 top destinations report, and Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto all made the list. Sandwiched among more predictable locales (Paris, for the Olympics) and the offbeat (total solar eclipse in Kentucky, anyone?) is that trifecta of destinations in the island country that seem to have eternal pull. Each city is just a few hours apart aboard a shinkansen, and with three very different personalities, they’re all worth a visit. 

Deciding on a place to stay in any of these incredible places, though, is a job unto itself. So we sifted through pages upon pages of listings and handpicked a few spots we’d book ASAP, as well as a few stylish hotels worth checking out. 

Too Cool, Top-Rated Airbnbs

We scoured Airbnb in each city with an eye toward design, filtering in different ways for guest favorites, superhosts, and geographic variance. We tried to steer clear of multi-room properties in favor of unique qualities and equally interesting neighborhoods or areas. 

Tokyo

In Tokyo, that meant an outdoor tub near youthful Shimokitazawa, and floor-to-ceiling windows on a quiet central quiet in Shinjuku.

Third-Floor Penthouse, Shinjuku

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Japanese Old Traditional Style House, Setagaya City

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Osaka

In Osaka, we found a two-story house with Japanese sugi-wood flooring, a cozy stay not far from beautifully planted Utsubo Park, and a well-appointed circa-1911 house near the Yodo River.

Traditional Wood House, Osaka City

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Cozy Home, Osaka City

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Circa-1911 Townhouse, Fukushima

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Kyoto

In Kyoto, there’s a renovated modern machiya—traditional architecture of the area—and a two-bedroom home surrounded by lush gardens.

Fully Renovated Traditional Machiya, Gion

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Garden House, Shimogyo

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Courtesy of Airbnb

Hotels Worth Booking for the Design Alone

While there’s always an argument to be made for a classic like Tokyo’s Park Hyatt, here are 10 more hotel stays—all recommended by design-minded folks and editors—in Tokyo, Kyoto, and across Japan that are worth looking into. From an art island respite near Okayama to a regularly snowy Hokkaido ryokan, there’s a little something for everyone.

Ace Hotel, Kyoto

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Courtesy of Ace Hotel Kyoto

Benesse House, Naoshima Island

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Courtesy of Benesse House

Hanamurasaki, Yamanaka Onsen

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Courtesy of Hanamurasaki

Hoshinoya Tokyo, Tokyo

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Courtesy of Hoshinoya Tokyo

K5 Hotel, Tokyo

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Courtesy of K5 Hotel

Hoshino Kai Alps, Omachi

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Courtesy of Kai Alps

Kishi-Ke, Kamakura

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Courtesy of Kishi-Ke

The Okura, Tokyo

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Courtesy of The Okura

Trunk House, Tokyo

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Courtesy of Trunk House

Zaborin, Hanazono

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Courtesy of Zaborin
Samantha Weiss-Hills Avatar

Samantha Weiss-Hills

Managing Editor, Home & Shopping

Samantha Weiss-Hills is the managing editor of home and shopping for Domino. She edits and writes home tours, shopping guides, and features, and she’s the friend who everyone texts for glassware, sofa, and sheet recommendations. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Alex, and their beagle-corgi, Elsa.

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