Andrea Urbinati

Capsule Hotels: Tokyo’s Unique Hotel Experience

Di Andrea Urbinati

blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo
capsule hotels Tokyo, Japan

Introduction

Get ready to dive with me into the world of Tokyo’s capsule hotels, where the future of travel is already here. Get ready because this is one adventure you won’t want to miss.

Picture this: You’ve just landed in Tokyo. You’re surrounded by the exhilarating hum of the city, neon lights flashing, people bustling, and amidst this vibrant chaos, you find a haven that is, quite frankly, out of this world. 

Yes, I’m talking about the capsule hotels in Tokyo.

The first time you see one, you might think you’ve stumbled onto the set of a futuristic sci-fi film. But no, these are not props – they’re your bed for the night! Capsule hotels, my friends, are essentially compact sleeping pods stacked on top of one another, just big enough for a single person. 

They come complete with a bed, light, charging point, and sometimes even a mini TV! And they’re far more comfy than you’d imagine.

Now, you may be wondering why a sane person would voluntarily opt for such a stay. Well, here’s the thing. I’ve been the regular hostel guy, even splurged on some fancy hotels on occasion, but the best capsule hotels in Tokyo?

They take your travel experience to a whole new level. It’s about more than just a place to crash for the night. It’s about diving headfirst into a culture unafraid to embrace the extraordinary in the everyday. This is one of the best things to do in Japan, for sure!

So, how did I end up inside one of these capsules? I was planning my Tokyo trip, checking out all the usual suspects – temples, sushi, karaoke, when I stumbled across these intriguing mini-hostels. And I thought to myself, “Why the heck not?” That’s when I traded the typical for the incredible. 

Fast forward a few weeks, and there I was, gearing up to spend my first night in a capsule, utterly thrilled and just a bit nervous.

Welcome aboard! 

 

capsule hotels Tokyo, two japanese girls having fun

Understanding Capsule Hotels

So, where did these funky sleeping pods come from, you ask? 

Buckle in because we’re taking a quick trip down memory lane. 

Capsule hotels first popped up in the late 1970s in Osaka. Yep, they’ve been around for that long! They were designed as a convenient and affordable option for businessmen who missed the last train home or simply needed a place to crash after a long night out. 

But Tokyo, ever the trendsetter, quickly caught on and brought its own spin to the concept.

Fast-forward to 2023, and capsule hotels have evolved into something more than just an overnight stopgap. 

They’re almost like a lifestyle choice, offering minimalist comfort and an unmistakably unique experience. Brands like “nine hours” are upping the game with their uber-stylish and ultra-modern facilities, bringing the future to the present.

These Tokyo favorites aren’t just dotted around random corners of the city either. We’re talking prime locations like Shinjuku and Shibuya, right in the heart of the hustle and bustle. 

So if you’re looking for a cool place to stay in these trendy areas, a capsule hotel could be your perfect fit.

But here’s the real deal: capsule hotels are not just about convenience. It’s about stepping into a pod and immersing yourself in a whole new world – a world where you can stay in a capsule that looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie and yet feels as cozy as your own bed. 

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you can’t quite capture unless you zip up that capsule door behind you and settle in for the night. 

It’s about embracing the unconventional and the extraordinary and having a blast. In other words, staying in a capsule hotel in Tokyo is more than just a place to sleep; it’s a journey into the future of travel.

So, if you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to add a splash of fun to your Tokyo trip, a capsule hotel is a must-try. Trust me, you’ll have stories to tell that’ll make your friends’ jaws drop. 

And let’s face it, who doesn’t love that?

 

in japan, the entrance of a capsule hotels Tokyo,

My First Night in a Capsule Hotel

With all the buzz around capsule hotels, I was pumped to spend my first night in one. But before I could jump into the adventure, I had the daunting task of choosing the right capsule hotel. I mean, Tokyo is flooded with these little havens, each unique in its own right.

After much deliberation, surfing through tons of reviews, and an insane amount of coffee, I zeroed in on a swanky capsule hotel in Asakusa. 

It offered 24-hour service, great reviews, and was smack dab in the middle of one of Tokyo’s most vibrant districts

Plus, it was just a short train ride away from Akihabara, the neon-lit home of anime and manga, which was pretty high on my sightseeing list.

The moment I walked into the hotel, I was hit by a wave of excitement and a pinch of nerves. 

I was actually going to sleep in one of these pods! The check-in process was a breeze, and the staff was super friendly and helpful. 

They handed me a bag with essentials (slippers, towel, toothbrush), gave me a quick run-through of the facilities, and then directed me to my pod.

Now, stepping into my capsule for the first time was like stepping into a different realm. It was compact, yes, but it had everything I needed

A comfy bed that made me want to snuggle in instantly, a small foldable table, a reading light, and even a power outlet to charge my devices. The control panel had buttons for the light, alarm, and even a TV! Talk about smart accommodation!

The ambiance inside the capsule was surprisingly peaceful, a stark contrast to the buzzing city outside. 

As I settled in, I felt this sense of coziness and tranquility wash over me. I was in my own little bubble, nestled amidst the heart of Tokyo.

There I was, tucked inside my futuristic pod, ready to embark on a unique adventure. 

 

capsule hotels Tokyo, blue light

Living the Capsule Life

Ever wondered what it’s like to spend a night in a capsule?

Well, let me tell you, this is going to be quite new for you 😀 

During the first few minutes in my pod, I felt like in a pajama party when I was 13 years old, grinning ear to ear and marveling at the fact that I was going to sleep in this tiny little capsule in a hotel in Japan.

But after a few minutes, I fell asleep like a baby,

The capsules are surprisingly soundproof, and the soft, low lighting creates an ambiance that’s weirdly comforting. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face a new day in Tokyo.

Living the capsule life isn’t just about the sleeping pods, though.

It’s also about the community. 

Most capsule hotels, like the Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel where I stayed, have a common lounge area.

And trust me, this is where some of the most interesting interactions take place. 

There’s something about sharing a unique experience that just brings people together, you know? I met fellow travelers from all corners of the world, swapped stories, shared tips, and even made some new friends.

Even though I was technically staying in a tiny box, I didn’t miss out on any of the usual hotel services. 

They had everything covered – an on-site restaurant for when those hunger pangs hit, super clean bathrooms with hot showers, lockers to stash away your belongings, and even a laundry room. 

All in all, living the capsule life was an adventure in itself. You have to do it at least once to experience Japan!

but there is so much more to do in Tokyo; you can check out here all the different activities you can do!

 

capsule hotels Tokyo, entrance of a hotel

Lessons from the Capsule

If you’re ever considering hopping into a capsule hotel in Japan, it’s essential to weigh the highs and lows of this unique accommodation. 

And the best part? 

You can stay in capsule hotels during the summer or in autumn to get the best experience ever.

The advantages of these pod hotels are plenty. 

They’re cost-effective and often found right in the heart of the city, saving you both time and transportation costs. 

The amenities can be surprisingly comprehensive, from lounges to laundry facilities. Plus, there’s a fascinating communal spirit that hovers around these spaces. Meeting people from different walks of life and sharing travel tales over a hot cup of coffee, it adds to the charm.

But there’s no rose without a thorn, right? Well, the thorns here can be the limited private space and the communal facilities. 

If you’re someone who cherishes your privacy, the concept of shared bathrooms and a public bath might seem daunting. And while the capsules are brilliantly designed, they aren’t exactly spacious.

Traveling with a lot of luggage? Maybe it’s not the best idea to choose a capsule hotel! But you can still manage to do it. And then there’s the noise. You’re living in close quarters with others, and that can sometimes get a bit noisy.

And if you are traveling with kids? 

Well, I personally heard from a good friend of mine that kids have hard time falling asleep in the pods! I don’t know why thou. if you want to know more about what to do in Tokyo if you have kids, make sure to read this article!

Despite these little prickles, I would say capsule hotels are worth trying out.

If you are traveling alone and want to save some money, you have to try this kind of hotel.  

And even if you have plenty of money in your pocket, this is the kind of experience you want to try anyway 😀 

I mean, when else will you get to sleep in a futuristic pod in the heart of Tokyo?

In a nutshell, my voyage into the world of capsule hotels was a whirlwind of new experiences, wonderful people, and a dash of stepping out of my comfort zone. It was like unwrapping a present. 

 

Pros of Staying in Capsule Hotels

  • Budget-Friendly: Capsule hotels are generally quite affordable, making them a great option for budget travelers or anyone looking to save on accommodation.
  • Excellent Locations: Many capsule hotels are located in the heart of bustling districts, offering easy access to major tourist spots, dining, and shopping venues.
  • Novelty Factor: The unique experience of sleeping in a pod is something that traditional hotels just can’t offer. It’s a fun story to share with friends back home!
  • Facilities and Amenities: Even if they are super small rooms, capsule hotels often offer a range of facilities and amenities like lounges, lockers, restaurants, and even laundry rooms; for the price you pay, you get plenty of comforts.
  • Community Atmosphere: With shared spaces, capsule hotels foster a sense of community, making it easy to meet and interact with fellow travelers from around the world.

 

Cons of Staying in Capsule Hotels:

  • Limited Space: Capsules offer limited space, which can be a deal-breaker for those who are claustrophobic or prefer more spacious accommodations.
  • Lack of Privacy: While the capsules themselves offer a sense of privacy, shared facilities mean you’re often in close quarters with other guests.
  • Noise: While most capsules are designed to be soundproof, noise from neighboring capsules or the common areas can sometimes be an issue.
  • Limited Storage: There’s typically not much room for luggage inside the capsule, which can be inconvenient if you’re traveling with large bags or multiple suitcases.
  • Shared Bathrooms: Most capsule hotels have communal bathrooms, which might not appeal to everyone, particularly those who prefer private ensuite facilities.

 

capsule hotels Tokyo, near beautiful bridge in japan

Wrapping Up the Capsule Adventure

There you have it, dear reader, the ins and outs of my epic capsule hotel adventure!

I’ve bunked in hotels, shacked up in traditional houses, and even tried a few oddball accommodations while traveling through Japan. 

But let me tell you – nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to the sheer thrill of bedding down in one of Tokyo’s capsule hotels.

I remember vividly the moment I stood before that sci-fi-looking capsule for the first time, my heart doing a little dance.

 I was about to sleep in this tiny pod in the heart of the buzzing metropolis of Tokyo

As I crawled into my capsule, I had to pinch myself – was I really doing this?

Living out of a capsule hotel is like being part of this whole other world. There’s the 24-hour front desk, staffed with the friendliest of folks. 

And the people I met! I swapped stories with backpackers, laughed with locals, and even had a couple of profound late-night conversations under the lounge’s soft lights. These weren’t just fellow travelers – they became part of my capsule hotel family.

Of course, it wasn’t all rosy. Lugging my suitcase around was a bit of a bummer, and let’s not get started on the shared bathrooms. 

But you know what? Those minor hiccups barely made a dent in the joy of the experience.

So here’s my nugget of wisdom for you – give capsule hotels a shot when you’re in Tokyo. Seriously, it’s a blast. You save a few bucks, meet awesome people, and get to live out a cool sci-fi fantasy. What’s not to love? 

So come on, add a little bit of spice to your Tokyo adventure. Skip the boring hotel stay with a great massage experience and hop into a capsule instead.

Trust me, it’ll be the best decision you ever make! Who knew sleeping in a pod could be this much fun?

ps: if you need some help while traveling, make sure to read my post with the best travel guide for Japan and an article with the most useful common phrase

Hope it helps:D

Table of Contents

About the author
blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo

Hi! I’m Andrea, a passionate freelance writer with a knack for captivating storytelling.

With a decade of marketing expertise and a genuine love for crafting compelling content, I bring your ideas to life!

Let me know if you need a writer for your blog!

You may also like