Japan: Staying at a Capsule Hotel

posted in: Cultures, Japan | 0

As a tall foreigner with a height of 195cm (6’5″), I was somewhat anxious about staying at a Japanese capsule hotel. Will the coffin-size rooms be big and long enough? What if the capsule makes me claustrophobic? Will my neighbor snore and wake me up? But the low price of US$40/night was an irresistible bargain and my sense of adventure kicked in with excitement to try this new form of accommodation!

1. The Check-in

The whole check-in is automated through a kiosk machine that takes your payment in cash or credit card and issues an access keycard for your designated capsule room. Personal belongings have to be left in a storage locker as the capsules are not locked so guests may not leave anything in the “room” itself. Following Japanese traditions, shoes come off at the reception, guests can take a shower in the common shared bathrooms and change into “Yukata” style pajamas to change into for the night.

Capsule hotel check-in kiosk
Capsule hotel check-in kiosk
Capsule hotel storage lockers
Storage lockers for personal belongings

2. Shedding Inhibitions in the Capsules

Sleeping in a capsule is quite a psychological experience, but once my mind got used to lying inside a glorified storage container the “rooms” are actually very clean, comfortable and 2 meters long! There is an entire floor of capsules for men and another floor for women, with individual capsules perfectly ordered like a giant honeycomb. I was lucky to be on the bottom row so I could just crawl straight in and avoid midnight acrobatics crawling up the stairs. Each room comes with a pillow, blanket, alarm clock, electrical socket and a ventilation fan. Once inside, you can roll down a bamboo screen to “close” the entrance and tuck in for the night, without feeling too claustrophobic. Thankfully my neighbors were very quiet so I slept like a baby without being woken up by any snoring from the capsule next to me.

Capsule hotel room
Crawling into my “room” at the capsule hotel!
Clean capsule hotel rooms
Clean capsule hotel rooms
Corridor of capsule hotel rooms
Corridor of capsule hotel rooms

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