Japan is a country that offers a variety of unique accommodations. Some travelers even seek for a particular type of accommodation when they have the opportunity to explore Japan. For example, how is it like to sleep in a confined space – such as at the capsule hotel?
Nowadays the capsule hotels can be found in many countries. However, it can’t be denied that the history of capsule hotels began in Japan, when the first capsule hotel in the world – the Capsule Inn – started to operate in Osaka in 1979.
That’s why the capsule hotels are typically linked to the image of “a unique Japanese-style accommodation”, successfully attracting travelers to experience a stay there to enrich their visit to Japan.
The question is, of all capsule hotels in Japan, which one is the most worthy as your go-to accommodation while you’re in Japan?
Well, those who truly wishes to enjoy an experience of staying in a capsule hotel (not just checking in – sleep – checking out), here are some cool capsule hotels that should be in your “travelling bucket list” in Japan. The cool concept here does not only go for their awesome design, but also to the unique ambience and great amenities. Of the following list, which one would you like to try while you’re in Japan?
1. Capsule Inn Osaka, The First Capsule Hotel in the World that Remains Popular
Here is the very first capsule hotel in the world, which is still popular even now. Located at the heart of Osaka, its strategic location makes this hotel always filled with streams of travelers.
What’s so great about the Capsule Inn is that they offer different bedding options. You may choose between the regular capsule at 0,95 m (height) x 0,95 m (width) x 1,910 m (length) or even the wide capsule at 0,95 m (height) x 1,050 m (width) x 2,020 m (length). Both types are equipped with the same amenities, such as a television, a double bed, a fan, etc.
It’s your first time staying at a capsule hotel and you’re worried you’re going to get claustrophobic? Or you simply want more privacy? If you’re still amping up your mentality for a night at the capsule hotel, you can still choose a regular bedroom. There are 3 types of room to choose from: the single room, double room and triple room. Isn’t that great? Unfortunately, the ladies will have to skip this round as only male guests older than 19 years of age are allowed here.
Want more sneak preview of this hotel? Check out the below pictures:
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2. Nine Hours, A Capsule Hotel with Futuristic Feel.
Of all capsule hotels in Japan, Nine Hours is consistently listed as a must-visit capsule hotel while you’re in Japan, according to several travel blogs (including personal blogs). You can see why in the following description.
What steals the travelers’ attention the most, is that Nine Hours offers a unique ambience compared to other capsule hotels in general. This place does not only provide a capsule-like bedding, but it also has a futuristic design – just like in a space ship. Its modern minimalistic interior is dominated with black and white. Your first impression when you see this hotel for the first time will be no other than, “wow!”
Another interesting factor is that this hotel offers a sleeping ambience different than other capsule hotels. Each sleeping capsule is equipped with the Sleep Ambient Control System to set up the illumination in the capsule while you are sleeping, as well as a special pillow and mattress made of air-proof material to ensure your comfort. Also, don’t forget about the modern design of their sleeping capsules and such a prominent futuristic feel.
Aren’t you amazed by the ambience of Nine Hours? Wait until you hear the best part of this capsul hotel. Firstly, when other capsule hotels in general only cater to male guests, Nine Hours welcomes both male and female guests (they are separated on different floors). So, ladies travellers, don’t hesitate to visit Nine Hours!
Secondly, Nine Hours offers flexible options for your stay. Guests may choose to stay over night (stay), throughout the afternoon (nap), or perhaps even just to take a shower (24 hours). If you’re on a limited budget but you still wish you take a peek of the ambience of Nine Hours, perhaps you can consider this last option.
Thirdly, all merchandise at Nine Hours are for sale. Starting from the shampoo, soap, towels, to their super special pillow (even the mattresses!), they can all be purchased by guests; of course given that you’re willing to fork out some yen and empty out your travel budget. These are some toiletries offered for sale by Nine Hours:
As for the locations, Nine Hours can currently be found in three cities: Kyoto, Tokyo (at the Narita Airport) and Sendai. Each location has their own rate and policies. Details are available below:
[Kyoto] Nine Hours
[Narita Airport] Nine Hours
[Sendai] Nine Hours
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3. Sauna & Capsule Hotel Rumor Plaza, A Capsule Hotel at the Heart of Kyoto Tourism Site
To be honest, the main factor that makes Rumor Plaza worth checking out is not its cool exterior or interior design. It is more about its location in Gion. Who doesn’t want to visit Gion while they’re in Kyoto?
Even if you have no interest in Gion, this hotel is indeed strategically located to access various popular tourist destination in Kyoto. For example, you can strut to Gion Corner, which is only about 150 meter away. You are located close enough to Yasaka Jinja and Maruyama Park, and you can even get to Nene-no-michi to head to Higashiyama and its popular tourism spots, such as Kiyomizudera Temple, simply by walking (given that you’re in prime physical condition, as the way there gets hilly!)
This is how the sleeping capsules look like. Each capsule is equiped with standard facilities, such as a television.
Aside from its convenient location, this hotel is quite interesting to explore as they provide facilities to pamper guests. Other than standard amenities such as Wi-Fi and lobby area, guests are also invited to try their spa and sauna. Unfortunately, female guests and children below 10 years of age are not allowed in this hotel.
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4. Hotel Sleeps Kitasenju, Pamper Your Curiosity on Capsule Hotels, Manga and Sake in One Go
Capsule hotels, manga and sake are three unique things about Japan that often sparks travelers’ interest. You can actually enjoy all of them at once, without having to move anywhere. Isn’t that fascinating?
Hotel Sleeps Kitasenju is a hotel that offers “the whole Japan experience” in one go. If you’d curious about what it would be like to stay at a capsule hotel, this place overs a variery of sleeping capsules you can try.
Of course that’s not the only reason to try this hotel during your stay in Japan. They provide a bar that offers a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Japanese whiskey, sake, shochu. Name it, you got it. You might as well find it in the bar, while chilling and chatting with other guests.
If you love manga, Hotel Sleeps Kitasenju has more than 4000 manga collection than you can read on-site. Of course all of them are in Japanese, so perhaps it won’t be as enjoyable for those you can’t read Japanese.
Other facilities in the hotel is equally interesting, starting from the Japanese style bath house, relaxation room, etc. You can check out the ambience of this hotel in these pictures below. Unfortunately, this hotel is for male only.
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5. Centurion Cabin & Spa Ladies, A Capsule Hotel Just for the Ladies Traveller.
Whether you like it or not, a majority of the capsule hotels are only open for male guests. More or less, this makes the female travellers feel discriminated and intimidated as it is so hard to find a capsule hotel that accepts female guests – or at least both male and female.
Don’t worry, Ladies. A capsule hotel in Tokyo is dedicated for female guest. Located in Akasaka, Centurion Cabin & Spa specifically targets female guests who are keen on staying at a capsule hotel. Its design is also a little bit different from other capsule hotels, and therefore it looks more like an exclusive hotel rather than a capsule hotel.
What is most interesting about this hotel is its amenities, which are not that different compared to a regular hotel. This hotel offers a spa, a cool bathroom (see pictures), free chargers, foot spa, massage chairs and many more. In other words, this hotel may be a great choice for female travelers who want to experience a capsule hotel for the first time.
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6. Oak Hostel Cabin, The Charm of a Hostel in a Capsule Hotel, aka the Capsule Hostel
Oak Hostel Cabin is a capsule hotel with a unique concept. When other capsule hotels tend to combine the concept of a hotel with that of sleeping capsules, this newly opened hotel (March 2015) looks more like a hostel. Isn’t that unique?
The hostel welcomes both male and female guests. All guests may choose whether they would like to occupy a floor specially designated for male only, female only, or co-ed. One thing for sure, each guest will have a private capsule made of reinforced plastic, and each capsule is equipped with an electric plug and Wi-Fi.
Considering that it is essentially a hostel with sleeping capsules in it, don’t expect the same amenities with those found in a hotel, such as a spa or a restaurant. In exchange, there is a shared kitchen in which guests may cook for themselves.
Guests may also use the dining area to consume their meal and hang out in a common room that has minimalistic design yet comfortable.
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7. First Cabin, for the Claustrophobes Who Would Love to Experience the Thrill of Staying at a Capsule Hotel
Let’s admit it, staying at a capsule hotel is obviously not a great idea for a claustrophobe or those who are scared of narrow and enclosed spaces. However, as there’s always a solution for each problem, then there’s also a solution for fellow claustrophobes who would love to experience the thrill of staying at a capsule hotel: stay at the First Cabin.
First Cabin is a place that combines the minimalistic-functional concept of a capsule hotel with a regular hotel. Here you may find many cabins that look like a hotel room but smaller, and super minimalistic rooms that are bigger that the sleeping capsules of a capsule hotel. In short, there are two types of accommodation at the First Cabin: the first class cabin and the business class cabin.
The first class cabins are 4,4 meter square in size (2,1 m x 2,1 m x 2,1 m), equipped with a 120 cm-wide mattress each. This room is equipped with several amenities, such as a 32 inch TV, a bedside drawer and a safety box. They are similar to a hotel room, except that they are more compact.
for business class cabin only has 2,5 meter square in size (1,2 m x 2,1 m x 2,1 m). equipped with a 100 cm-wide mattress each, TV 32 inch, and the atmosphere quite similar with capsule hotel but more spacious.
Interestingly, First Cabin are widespread in many cities in Japan. If you would like to experience the thrill of staying at a capsule hotel yet you’re unsure about it, perhaps you can give it a try by staying at the First Cabin. Details of their locations are available below:
[Tokyo] First Cabin Akihabara
[Tokyo] First Cabin Haneda
[Tokyo] First Cabin Tsukiji
[Tokyo] First Cabin Atagoyama
[Kyoto] First Cabin Karasuma
[Osaka] First Cabin Midosuji Namba
[Fukuoka] First Cabin Hakata
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