Tokyo hotel pricing heats up for 2020 Olympics

Hotel Okura Tokyo

With less than a year to go until the 2020 Summer Olympics, accommodation options for visitors and volunteers are already extremely thin and price hikes have started. 

On Airbnb, an old studio apartment in Nakano ward that sleeps 3 is listed for over 5 million Yen (approx. 46,000 USD for a two-week duration. The same apartment would be under 200,000 Yen for a two-week period outside of the Olympics. In Shibuya, a 50 sqm studio with some Ikea beds and a mattress on the floor is listed for 3 million Yen (approx. 27,000 USD).

Currently, the average price on Airbnb in Tokyo during the games is around 155,000 Yen (approx. 1,460 USD) per night for a group of four.

Hotels around Tokyo Station that are currently around 10,000 Yen per night have already raised prices to 40,000 Yen/night for next July. High-end hotels will be priced as high as 900,000 Yen (approx. 8,300 USD) per night. On average, hotels might be 4 ~ 6 times their normal rate.

It should come as no surprise, with all Olympic host cities experiencing high accommodation prices during the games. In other host cities, pricing during the games has been about four times the ordinary rate. 

Anyone looking to book rooms now may find few options. The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has temporarily reserved 46,000 rooms. In 2013, when it was announced that Tokyo would host the Olympics, it was estimated that there were 140,000 hotel rooms within a 50-kilometer radius of the Olympic Village. At the time, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government declared that there would be no need for new hotel rooms to be built. However, these estimates did not account for the rapid increase in the number of foreign tourists to Japan in recent years. Mizuho Research Institute is forecasting a shortage of up to 14,000 rooms in Tokyo in August 2020.

Sources:
FNN, July 25, 2019.
The Tokyo Shimbun, July 24, 2019.

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