The Absolute Coolest Airbnbs in Japan to Book Right Now
If you love great design (and great bathrooms), these Japanese vacation rentals are for you.
Japan’s landscapes are famously diverse. You can find snowy mountains up in Hokkaido, tropical beaches down in Okinawa, and dreamy lakes, forests, and parks everywhere in between. And don’t forget about the country’s world-class cities, which are at once ancient and futuristic. It may only be roughly half the size of Texas, but Japan has enough awe-inspiring sites to please every type of traveler.
The country also has one very important unifying thread: high-end design. Whether you’re looking for ultra-modern skyscrapers, traditional ryokans, or cartoonish city apartments, you can rest assured that nearly every inch of Japan features thoughtful architecture and decor. Just check out this assortment of Airbnb rentals, which let visitors experience the country’s famous eye for aesthetics in locations both central and far-flung.
Below, check out some of the best Airbnbs in Japan right now.
5 guests/$183 per night
Located in the upscale, central neighborhood of Akasaka, this two-bedroom apartment showcases minimalist Japanese decor and has enough space to sleep five people (two in a bedroom, three in a tatami living area). A fully stocked kitchen with a Muji rice cooker and ceramic dishes makes for excellent dinner parties, while the black-stone bathroom is the perfect spot to relax after a long day exploring Tokyo.
What guests say: “I had a great time staying at Vivian’s place. The room is on the top floor and super clean, stylish, and quiet. I love how this space had its own private bedroom area as well as a casual living space. Also, this home was in a great central location in Akasaka, literally right on the other side of the Intercontinental Hotel. This made it easy to get to train stations, but also catch taxis easily.”
4 guests/$201 per night
BnA Alter Museum is an Instagram-famous boutique hotel in Kyoto, and honestly, every room here is worth checking out. But we’re particular fans of this bombastic studio covered in color-shifting murals, which were hand-painted by a Tokyo-based artist. Because it’s in a hotel, the studio comes with perks like daily fresh towels and bath products—there’s no kitchen, but guests have access to the lobby bar and co-working space.
What guests say: “We were so impressed by the thoughtfulness and beauty of both the hotel and room. The hand-painted walls are mesmerizing and the lighting options gave us constant entertainment. The staff was also helpful and gave us wonderful local recommendations.”
7 guests/$134 per night
If you fancy yourself an architecture buff, you should check out the Yoshino Cedar House, located in a rural town in central Japan. The home was a collaboration between Airbnb’s design studio and a Tokyo-based architect, built entirely out of locally sourced cedar wood. The result is a warm, sauna-like structure with two private rooms on the upper level, plus a lower level that’s open to the entire town so you can mingle with locals as often as you want.
What guests say: “Our stay in the Cedar House in Yoshino was amazing! Not only is the architecture of the house remarkable, but also the communication with the hosts and the cleanliness of the house was outstanding. The breakfast in the morning was really great too and we had the opportunity to chat with the locals! Thank you so much!!”
12 guests/$682 per night
Nagano is a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts (you may remember it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998), and we can’t imagine a more relaxing spot to rest up between ski runs than this ultra-luxurious chalet. The massive house has enough room to sleep 12 people, and it includes a window-lined dining room, free shuttle service, cozy bedrooms, and bathrooms with spa-like soaking tubs. With accommodations this nice, you may even decide to hang up your ski pants for a couple of days.
What guests say: “I used two rooms with friends and family. Everyone was very satisfied with the BBQ and fire pit with a set of snow peaks outside the villa. If I come to Hakuba, I will definitely use it again!”
5 guests/$471 per night
Why choose between mountain and ocean views when you can have both? This cliffside villa was built in 1971 on the southern tip of Japan’s stunning Izu Peninsula, with all-glass walls maximizing vistas of the Pacific ocean and national park forests. Bring a group of friends and grill out on the deck, snorkel off the beach, or read a book in the tree-shaded hammocks.
What guests say: “Amazing, hidden location with a magnificent view. Perfect for a quick getaway from Tokyo to be surrounded by nature. You will wake up without an alarm and be able to spend the day as you please, live the slow life. I would visit again!”
4 guests/$222 per night
Visiting this Tokyo apartment is like stepping into a colorful painting. The two-bedroom property was designed by a team of local architects, with boldly painted walls, woven hammocks, and a bumpy floor that looks like a giant sandbox. The hosts provide everything you could need—cooking supplies, laundry facilities, toiletries, towels, etc.—so you can just sit back and appreciate the imaginative space.
What guests say: “This place has been on my to-do list for YEARS and finally it happened! Perfect stay for architecture/design/art nerds. Take your favorite books, podcasts, or Ghibli movies and stay immersed within the space for three days straight for the best experience!”
2 guests/$196 per night
Camping right next to the Pacific? Sign us up. This glamping site is perfect for a summer trip to Japan, when you can snorkel in the warm ocean and gaze up at the stars at night. The air-conditioned tent comes with two single beds and a private deck with a grill and seating area. Guests are also free to use the shared ocean-facing sauna and cold bath, as well as private showers and toilets in a separate building. If you’d prefer an onsen soak, ask the host for discounted tickets to a nearby bath.
What guests say: “The facilities were very well stocked, the staff was all friendly, the meals were delicious, and there was nothing to complain about. The sauna in the morning was really great.”
4 guests/$220 per night
This townhouse has been fully renovated to feature modern comforts and amenities, but it still feels like a traditional Japanese stay with a small private garden, tatami room, and delicate window screens. The addition of skylights means the space is almost always bathed in warm sunlight, and the fully-stocked kitchen and bathroom with a deep soaking tub are major bonuses. It’s easy to see why this listing has a perfect 5.0 rating on Airbnb.
What guests say: “This place was such a treat—the location couldn’t be better. Every detail in the home was very purposeful. The place was comfortable with the highest quality amenities (sheets, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc). Would highly recommend for anyone visiting Kyoto!”
14 guests/$363 per night
With enough room for 14 guests and every amenity imaginable, this property feels like booking out a five-star hotel. The two-story home was built in 2019, and features a great mix of traditional (Zen garden, tatami room, bamboo walls) and modern (Wi-Fi, smart TVs, film projector). Additional perks include a stocked fridge with free soda, beer, and sake, and an open-air hot tub to keep the onsen experience close to home.
What guests say: “My family had a wonderful time at Chiharu-san’s house. There was thoughtful attention to detail everywhere—from a wide variety of beverages in the fridge, gentle aroma of calming tea leaves when we arrived, the hot loaf of bread that was delivered, to the personal recommendations on dining options told to us when we checked in. The location was just a conveniently short 5-minute walk from a key subway and JR station. The next time we are in Osaka, we hope to stay at this beautiful house again.”
4 guests/$354 per night
Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s islands, known for its ski resorts and volcanic peaks. This incredibly cozy and charming cottage is a great place to hole up on cold nights, with a brick fireplace, plush beds, and log walls that create a cute polka-dot effect. The house is a quick drive away from several onsen and ski resorts, though you can easily stay put and enjoy the private sauna and movie projector all day.
What guests say: “Sincere thanks to Michiko-san for her excellent hospitality and top-notch accommodations. She was very helpful to our group of four non-Japanese speakers, and her house was the perfect place to return after each day of skiing and relaxing. We were lucky to have made this choice!”
4 guests/$212 per night
If you’re seeking a more traditional stay, you can’t do much better than a 100-year machiya located in a temple complex. The wooden townhouse features tatami rooms, sliding doors, a private garden, and an outdoor porcelain bathtub. While a few modern amenities like Nespresso machines and air-conditioned bedrooms are fully in the present, you’ll still feel like you stepped back in time when you stay in this lovely and quiet property.
What guests say: “Beautiful traditional townhouse, nicely renovated. Air conditioning both downstairs and upstairs in the bedroom, which was much needed in the Kyoto summer. Drinking tea in the tatami room downstairs while looking out into the garden was so peaceful, I was tempted to skip sightseeing and just stay inside!”
4 guests/$142 per night
This house may be tiny, but it comes with a huge list of amenities. Most obvious is the private pool available to use from March through November, as well as a year-round sauna and outdoor hot tub. Inside, tall ceilings and a lofted sleeping area make the home feel bigger than it is. Guests can also enjoy a movie projector in the living room, grill out on the deck, and even set up a tent in the front yard on warm nights.
What guests say: “Great place, very friendly host. Super clean. You can borrow the bikes, grill, and tent, and they even have a telescope for stargazing and a pool, too!! Great experience and I’d love to come back soon!”
5 guests/$288 per night
Cherry blossom season draws millions of people to Japan every spring, but you can get a (crowd-free) taste of sakura at this pretty Tokyo apartment. Nearly every inch of the home is pink, from the walls to the furniture to the gigantic cherry blossom light fixture on the ceiling. You’ll also have access to a kitchenette, full bathroom, and rooftop with views of the Tokyo skyline.
What guests say: “Super cute place in the heart of Tokyo! I rented the room with some girlfriends for New Year’s countdown and we had such an amazing time. There is a convenience store just across the road, and the busy shopping area of Harajuku is just a short walk away. The hosts were super kind and really made a difference to our stay. I can’t recommend this place enough and would easily want to visit again.”
4 guests/$152 per night
This incredible treehouse feels like a private villa at a five-star resort—but it’s about one-tenth the price. With huge windows and an actual tree trunk cutting through the bedroom, you’ll definitely feel connected to nature as you take in the ocean views, relax in the hammock, cook meals on the balcony, or unwind in the walk-in shower (which also has a window for even more views). There’s also a private sauna, in case you need an extra dose of relaxation.
What guests say: “This treehouse was just what we needed. It’s a quick getaway that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle. It’s quaint and peaceful and the bed is very comfortable. The cafe next door was great for a few appetizers and we used the grill outside to cook up some steaks. The hosts were responsive and helpful at all times. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a romantic getaway.”
6 guests/$212 per night
This townhouse is so well-designed and pristine, we’d almost be afraid to touch anything and mess it up. But the space is made for relaxation, with a tatami tea room, quiet bedrooms with Simmons mattresses, and a central garden with water features and perfect landscaping. And just wait until you see the bathrooms (there are three of them), which feel more like spas with deep soaking tubs and full-size toiletries.
What guests say: “This place was absolutely breathtaking! Everything was as wonderful as how they were shown in the photos. Very clean with some personal touches which we really appreciated. If we do have the opportunity, would definitely love to stay here again!”