the night before I stayed at the New Otani Inn
4800 / night
David Pescovitz saw that I was in Tokyo and emailed me telling me I should definitely try staying in this place.
This was the most traditionally Japanese of the places I stayed - staying there made me feel like Toshiro Mifune, as a ronin wandering the countryside, pulling into a room late at night with rice paper screens and a thin straw mattress.
It was actually among the most comfortable beds I experienced in Japan. The bedding beneath was solid and still soft, and the thick blanket, wrapped in a sheet was heavy - it was a nice weighty warm feeling. There was no TV in the room, but there was a phone. No private bathroom, but it was a great place to stay for $40.
There was a traditional Japanese hot bath on the second floor - a deep wooden tub that I soaked in for long enough to fall asleep. Right near that was my first electric toilet.
The front desk clerk, a young man I saw just before bed and woke up in the morning - he was very nice, funny and helpful; he sent me to a good Unagi restaurant for good Japanese eating. This place was popular with foreign folks; "G'day mate" twice in fifteen minutes after having two days of nothing but Japanese was a little disconcerting.
the next night I stayed at the Tokyo Green Hotel