Staying in a Capsule Hotel in Japan

A last minute decision had me heading to Japan, but with no flights from London to Kyoto I had no choice but to fly Tokyo – a perfect excuse to cross one of the items off of my travel bug-ket list!

On the advice of Paul from TravMonkey I arranged to stay at the Capsule Inn Kinshichou Tokyo for one night – one night because I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’d been told that capsule hotels in Tokyo were mainly used for business people who wanted a nap during the day or those who were drunk after a big night out and needed somewhere to sleep close to the office, so I was a little hesitant that I would be the only female traveller surrounded by capsules of snoring men.

The Capsule Inn Kinshichou Tokyo offers a floor devoted only to female travellers. The only downside of this female-only floor is on level 8 whilst the female communal baths are located in the basement.

Each floor, respective of it being female or mixed, does have a bathroom – which have bathroom shoes provided. The toilets seem to be all squat toilets with one or two western style toilets dotted through the hostel.

One of the capsules at a capsule hotel in Tokyo, Japan

So what is sleeping in a Capsule hotel like?

It’s much a like to sleeping in a giant dorm room but with a lot more privacy and amenities. Each bed comes with it’s own set of power sockets, radio & alarm, and television, as well as a set of curtains you can draw or a blind which you can pull down for privacy.
My only real qualm with the beds is that the mattresses are very thin and so my sleep wasn’t as comfortable as I was hoping.

Inside a capsule hotel in Tokyo - TV, Radio, Alarm

The hostel workers speak varying degrees of English – the first worker I spoke with was near enough to fluent whilst some of the other workers just used gestures to communicate with me. Due to this lapse in language it is important to be mindful of customs which the Japanese such as taking your shoes off when entering the hotel.

There is beer and other drinks available for purchase at the hostel, lockers in the reception, and fast wifi throughout the hotel – perfect!

After spending a lot of time sleeping in hostels in London capsule hostels which Japan are famous for but with all of the features included inside the capsule, the convenience, and space being at a premium in big cities like Tokyo, it is understandable why they are such a popular option with both locals and foreigners wanting to try something new.

So, what do you think?
Would you like to stay in a Capsule Hotel?

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Capsule Inn Kinshichou Tokyo
2-6-3 Kinshi, Sumida-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Phone: +86-03-3621-1919.

Cost: AU$35 p/night

I choose to book all my hostel accommodation through HostelWorld!

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  • Reply
    May 2, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I’ve heard about the capsule hotel in Tokyo and I would like to experience how it feels like to stay there even just for one night 😀 Japan is truly an interesting place. I would love to visit Tokyo if only I have enough moolah T_T

    • Reply
      May 2, 2012 at 4:31 am

      That was exactly what I wanted to do – stay for one night so I could say I’d experienced it. I was a bit nervous about the communal bathing area so I high taled it to my next hotel before I tried it out but wish I did.

      I would definitely go back and I hope that you get to Tokyo soon! It really is a crazy place. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I didn’t know there was even an option for females to stay in capsule hotels! Sounds like an interesting experience. I’ve done communal bathing in Korea, and really it’s not so bad! I wasn’t stared at as much as I expected as a tattooed foreigner.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      It was a pleasant surprise to find a female only floor – no loud snores were heard that night!

      I’m glad to know communal bathing isn’t so bad. I was worried being the only western female I saw but working out how to wear the yakuta with crazy jet lag was just too much so I legged it to the next hotel haha!

      I definitely recommend you check out a capsule hotel even just for a night if given the opporutunity and I think I may have to take up communal bathing when I’m in Korea. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tom @ ActiveBackpacker
    May 3, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Cool photos, and it looks like an interesting hotel for sure! The Japanese are always coming up with quirky stuff 😀

  • Reply
    May 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Interesting. I’m not sure how I could feel in a Capsule Hotel room, as I’m a bit claustrophobic, but as you did, it’s worth giving it a try at least for one night.

  • Reply
    Jackie D
    May 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    This looks sort of similar to a boat hotel I stayed in recently — maybe the lack of windows and smaller scale of everything is what reminds me of it? I’ve never heard of these types of accommodations and it looks like a really interesting thing to try. This might be a dumb question but does it just look like a normal hotel from the outside, or what is the building structure like?

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Jackie,
      A boat hotel? That sounds like fun! Where did you try it?

      It did just look like a normal office building from the outside and you walked up one level to the hotel. Inside there are 8 levels and a basement with capsules on all but two levels which are dedicated bathroom levels.

  • Reply
    Becki | @backpackerbecki
    May 12, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I would love to try this – even if just for one night. It’s one of those things associated with Japan. Even if you end up hating it, I think it’s a good thing to try even for the novelty of it. Great post.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Becki. 🙂

      Hope you get to try it when you’re in Japan!

  • Reply
    crazy sexy fun traveler
    May 13, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I’ve heard about those hotels and would like to experience it … not sure if it is so much fun tho 😀

    • Reply
      May 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      It’s good fun for at least one night but I’m not sure I could do it for multiple nights in a row. Hope you get to experience it soon!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Capsule hotels seem so strange! My boyfriend and I are starting our backpacking trip in Japan in the fall and I would love to try out one of these capsule hotels. Do you know if they have double beds for couples? Or do they separate the floors by gender?

  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    That’s interesting, I have not heard of a thing such as a capsule hotel. The capsule only good for one or do they offer others? Oh, so they let you take you off shoes every time huh?

    • Reply
      August 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

      They make you take your shoes off at the front desk before you enter every time.

      I believe most capsules are good for only one but there may be some for two or more. Not where I was staying though.

      Thanks for commenting David! 🙂

  • Reply
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    December 15, 2014 at 3:58 pm

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    Matt C
    February 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Great read! I’ve visited Japan 9 times (married to a Japanese woman), and spent a lot of time in Tokyo, but the one thing I’ve not done (but always wanted to) was stay in one. We’ve missed the last train home after a big night numerous times, but usually stay out or stay in a love hotel for a few hours. I’m going to have to try and convince my better half to try a capsule when we visit in July.

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