If you are tight on budget and you need to stay in Japan for a few days or just an overnight sleep, you should consider capsule hotels as an option. These hotels are among the cheapest lodging options available in Tokyo and Japan in general. But what are these hotels, and why are they so popular in Japan?
In total capsule hotels in Japan offer hotel rooms that accommodate a single person at a time. Typically, the “bedrooms” measure around 50 inches x 80 inches x 40 inches. They aim to cater to their guests with the highest possible level of comfort within their budget.
Capsule hotels began as an easy solution for Japanese salarymen to have a place to spend the night rather than traveling back home when leaving the office late at night…sometimes close to midnight.
Booking or checking into a capsule hotel room requires a clear understanding of all of the services they provide. To consider all the pros and cons of over nighting in capsule hotels in Japan, give a quick read.
Cost To Stay In A Capsule Hotel In Japan
As a general rule, it costs around 2000 to 5000 yen ($18 to $45) per night. The price mainly depends on the capsule hotels and the facilities they provide. Location within the city also affects the rates.
In most cases, capsule hotels cost around 3000 to 4000 yen per night. Within this price range, they provide basic amenities like air conditioning, pillows, shower facilities and power sockets. In most cases, these capsules can accommodate only one person.
Some establiishments will offer a meal service whether in house or ordered and delivered withing the immediate vacinity.
Relatively larger capsules will cost more than regular-size capsules. Larger capsules with more facilities may cost more than 5000 yen. For example, capsules providing free Wi-Fi service, space for two, televisions, and soundproof walls will cost more than capsules without such services.
Capsule hotels located in famous cities may also cost more than other capsule hotels because of demand. Themed and premium capsule hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka rates are substantially higher. They charge slightly higher rates also.
Capsule Hotel Safety
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and the capsule hotels here are no exception. They offer enough privacy in each capsule along with many creature comforts and provide lockers that keep belongings safe.
Each capsule hotel in Japan is unique when it comes to security. However, they all have a few similar security features. Almost all of the hotels have a small locker outside the capsule where guests can store their valuable items. They can keep their bags and other belongings at lockers without putting them at risk.
On the other hand, each floor of the capsule hotel has a barcode key scanning system. It requires the guests to scan their key card before entering the floor. That means, no one without the key can enter the floors. It keeps the non guest away as only the paying customers can enter.
Moreover, there are separate floors for male and female guests in capsule hotels. For example, if there are three floors for men, the rest of the floors will be for women only. Men cannot enter the females’ floors due to the tight barcode security system. The same goes for the women as well!
Capsule Hotels And Couples
As a whole capsule hotels consist of bed-size hotel rooms that accommodate one person. These are not recommended for couples traveling in Japan. The guests living in these hotels are usually businessmen and businesswomen who search for low-cost places to stay in.
Due to the size of the sleeping area, they are called capsule hotels. Despite their lack of luxury, they can be very comfortable. Be it Wi-Fi, pillows, power sockets, television, or air conditioning, these hotels will provide you all the amenities that you need for a comfortable stay.
They sometimes look like multiple bunk beds with just enough privacy. It is because the capsules on a single floor are closely stacked side-by-side. They are also arranged in a way that there’s one capsule over another one. The hotel management provides ladders or steps to reach the capsules on the second level.
Generally, the walls of the rooms are constructed with fiberglass, plastics, and other sturdy materials. However, the walls are generally not soundproof. Since the rooms are tightly packed within a small space and the walls are not soundproof, it requires the guests to be quiet every night.
In Japan, the use of capsule hotels is on the rise since they are more convenient than other conventional hotels. They tend to use space as efficiently as possible, which helps tourists save up money and the hotel to maximize profit. This is why travelers from around the world are now drawn to these capsule hotels more than ever before!
Long Stays At A Capsule Hotels
It is possible to stay at a capsule hotel as long as the guests want. However, the hotel management may require the guests to check out and in after a period of consecutive days. It is common in many capsule hotels to have a maximum number of days stayed in row.
There may be some capsule hotels in Japan mentioning that guests are allowed to stay for only a night. It will be more like hotels for a night’s stay. But that is not true for most hotels. Almost all the hotels let guests stay for as many nights as they desire within the rules of that paticular establishement.
However, there’s a catch. Most guests in capsule hotels need to checkout of their capsules at around 10 a.m. In other words, they have to vacate early or purchase an aditional night. Then again, the guests can check-in at around 2 p.m., which is 4 hours after checking out. During this time, guests may have to stay in the lounge. But of course, their belongings will be safe in their lockers.
Capsule Hotels In Tokyo
Guests can stay as long as they want in capsule hotels in Tokyo. Usually, there are no restrictions on the number of hours a guest can stay; that is, as long as they are paying for that day and following the rules properly.
Capsule hotels allow the guests to stay for a long periods of time. But a few hotels in Tokyo require the guests to check out and then check in again every day. These rules apply to every guest in the hotel and therefore are mandatory.
This permits daily cleaning of each capsule room with new sheets and laundering of the old ones.
The check-out time is usually 10 a.m. for all the capsule hotels in Tokyo. It is when the guests have to check out and in again to stay for an extended period.
Best Capsule Hotel Experience
Some of the best capsule hotels in tokyo:
Nine Hours Otemachi-Imperial Palace
MyCUBE by MYSTAYS Asakusa Kuramae
Unlike most capsule hotels, these capsule hotels provide unique facilities. They include entertainment, shopping, adequate air conditioning, dining, etc. laundry rooms, microwave ovens, kitchens, and complimentary shower amenities. Their capsules are also larger than most competing hotels.
They have more comfortable beds than most capsule beds. It also provides a larger large kitchen space with necessary kitchen tools for the guests. It enhances convenience for the guests staying in these hotels for a longer stays. Along with the kitchen space, they have an-site lounges where the guests can relax or work.
Capsule hotels do have showers. But the shower rooms are similar to common onsen type bathing. The hotels consist of a large shower room that allows more than ten people to shower at once.
It is worth noting that there are no private shower rooms in most capsule hotels. They only offer shared shower room. Some capsule hotels may also provide saunas, which offer steam-bathing for relaxation and refreshment for the guests.
Furthermore, their shower rooms are very clean and tidy. They provide soaps, shampoos, shaving supplies, buckets, toothbrushes, and toothpaste kits. It may only require the guests to bring minimum personal items when showering.
Capsule Hotel Layout
Inside a capsule hotel, there are large dormitories where many rows of twin bed-size capsules and are stacked side-by-side and often stacked two high. The capsule rooms provide basic needs such as pillows, television, air conditioning, and sometimes a mirror.
All the capsule hotels have toilets, bathrooms, and lockers. In contrast, some capsule hotels have an on-site lounge, kitchen and cooking area, vending machines, and restaurants.
Inside each capsule, you will also find a curtain attached to the opening of the door. It helps maintain the privacy of the guests.
Staying inside a capsule hotel is unique and comfortable. It is more like staying in a micro-hotel room without furniture other than your bed.
Capsules provides almost all the basic necessities, it can be cozy staying in a capsule hotel. The guests get power sockets that are used for charging phones and cameras inside each capsule. It is one of the best options when you have missed a train or a plane or traveling on a tight budget.
The interior design of capsule hotels in Japan is designed in a ‘futuristic’ way. It is clean and spacious for most guests in the hotel. It is extremely rare that you’ll find the rooms or the floors dirty.
Given their convenience and affordability, capsule hotels in Japan are becoming increasingly popular for tourists. These hotels are the best options for a restful stay as most tend to be tight on budget.
If you are planning to visit Japan, you must experience at least one night in a capsule hotels.