The first capsule hotels of Japan were originally targeted towards businessmen who burned the midnight oil and missed the last bus or train back home. Instead of staying in pricey hotels, or worse, sleeping out on the streets, capsule hotels offered these tired businessmen an affordable place to stay for the night. Although they are designed to be very compact, all the essentials of an overnight stay are provided.
For my recent trip to Kyoto, a friend and I managed to book capsules at 9h nine hours, a capsule hotel located at the historic and bustling district of Gion. Listed down below are four reasons why you shouldn’t shy away from this peculiar hotel during your next visit to Japan!
1. It’s affordable.
Japan is no cheap country to travel to. And if you’re there to sightsee rather than do a staycation, the last thing you want to spend money on is an expensive hotel that you’re just going to sleep in anyway. While capsule hotels are not as swanky as business hotels, it’s definitely a step-up from bed space hostels!
2. The beds are surprisingly comfortable.
The sleeping capsules were stacked in 2 levels. Small ladders are attached next to each “top bunk” to help guests up their capsules. If you think sleeping in a box would feel cramped and uncomfortable, think again! The capsule was unexpectedly spacious on the inside. (Of course, it helped that I’m a small, 5-foot girl). Each space was furnished with its own light fixtures, alarm clock, and charging station.
3. Lockers are provided for your belonging’s security.
Have you ever tripped on your roommate’s humongous suitcase that’s just scattered on the floor? I have. What’s great about staying in a capsule hotel is that everyone is required to stow away their luggage in their lockers. Aside from more walking space, the lockers give me a sense of inner peace knowing that my bags would be locked safe while I’m out and about exploring.
4. You don’t have to schedule with your friends who has to bathe first.
Finally, the last thing you want to do while on vacation is to wake up extra early to take a shower because there are four of you in one room who are all morning shower-takers. This capsule hotel has a dedicated floor for bathing (the lockers are located on the same floor). There are enough shower stalls, sinks, and blow dryers that you don’t really have to wait your turn. Huzzah for extra 30 minutes of sleep!
While these reasons are enough for me to try another capsule hotel again, there are downsides to this kind of unique housing. While most of your floor mates are generally good noodles and follow the no-talking rule in the sleeping area, there are some bad eggs who can’t resist gossiping in the middle of the night. It’s not that bad, though, since you ARE encased in your own little universe. Finally, you probably shouldn’t book a capsule hotel if your claustrophobic. I mean, this one is pretty obvious, you guys.