Concierge.com's insider take:
The Yamanoue or Hilltop, in the university and bookshop district of Jimbocho, is a hotel with a history. The building, which dates back to 1937, served as quarters for officers of the U.S. Occupation Forces before being turned into a hotel in 1954. It quickly became a favorite with journalists and writers, including the novelist Yukio Mishima. The hotel still has a distinctly old-fashioned air, and the rooms are comfortably worn. Book a Japanese room in the main building, which combine Western beds with tatami floors and shoji screens. If that's not your style, try one of the ultramodern renovated rooms on the seventh floor of the annex. Many have old wooden desks and dressing tables, prints on the walls, and sofas with lace arm covers. Service is thoughtful and attentive—the staff even promises to pump fresh oxygen into your room. Tempura restaurant Yama-no-Ue is worth a visit even if you're not staying at this hotel.