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Japan Travel Tips – A Closer Look at Capsule Hotels November 23, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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Happy Tuesday! Welcome back to Japan Travel Tips, where we have highlighted some of the best independently produced travelogs about Japan in the hope to assist anyone interested in traveling to the country. One of the first articles we posted highlighted some of the various options travelers have for finding a hotel throughout the country. My intention with that article was to show a smattering of different hotel options in that first article, and then expand on each option in later articles. Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most unique options to stay while traveling in Japan, and possibly the best option tourists who plan to travel light and see as much of the country as they can might have, the Capsule Hotel.

Japan’s Capsule Hotels are world-famous. Instead of providing a guest an individual room with a bed, Capsule hotels are communal hotels where rows of beds are provided throughout the floors. However, each capsule is self contained with its own bed, power outlets, and a small television. For a cheaper fee per night than any hotel I could find, guests are provided their very own capsule to sleep in, and also provided lockers for their belongings, robes, pajamas and travel toiletries. There’s even communal areas for social exchange with the other guests. It is very popular among locals who stayed out too late and happen to miss a train home.

I wanted to start this article by re-featuring the best overview video I could find on the internet about the subject. Only in Japan produced this video about the Capsule Hotel, and I thought it would be the best way to outline what the experience is like to people who may not be from Japan.

So now that you have a better idea of what a capsule hotel is, you probably want to know what the experience of spending a night there was like. Well, I wanted to feature the great work of Tyler Williams, who traveled with his wife Safiya Nygaard to Japan and documented their experience staying at a capsule hotel. The video is incredibly in-depth with them talking about every aspect of their stay.

Next up, I would not be able to continue this article without providing another fantastic video by Abroad in Japan. In this video he does a great job showing the common areas available to guests.

I must stress some major takeaways from these videos. There are positives and negatives to staying at a Capsule Hotel.

  • Capsule Hotels are among the cheapest accommodations for spending a night in Japan. They are a perfect option for people traveling on a budget.
  • Capsule Hotels are a good option for travelers who are traveling alone or traveling with a companion of the same gender. In some cases, Capsule Hotels could be marked “Men Only” or “Women Only”. In the case of a hotel that accommodates men and women, they will usually assign separate floors for men and women that cannot be crossed. Married couples would likely be happier staying at an alternate accommodation such as a Love Hotel or Onsen.
  • Guests are provided access to a personal locker while staying at the capsule hotel. Pack light if you plan to stay overnight at one as you’re going to want all your belongings to fit in your locker.
  • I wouldn’t recommend staying at the same capsule hotel for their entire stay in Japan. Your best option is to stay at one while visiting an area for one or two nights, then taking a train, boat or plane to your next destination and stay at a different accommodation.

Hope you’ve all been enjoying Japan Travel Tips. We are going to take a break on this series for the time being. At the time of this writing there are still travel restrictions on visiting the country, and I felt that while this information is fascinating and has been useful to me in the event I could ever take a vacation there, I will probably not be able to visit for some time. Until next time!