Staying at a Japanese Capsule Hotel

Staying at a Japanese Capsule Hotel

Introduction

During my 40-day trip through Japan I got to stay at a lot of really unique hostels, hotels and Airbnbs. Nothing, however, quite caught my attention as much as a small Capsule Inn in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Here’s all you need to know about staying at a Japanese Capsule Hotel.

The Video

The Capsule

I would be lying if I were to say that the capsule wasn’t absolutely tiny. Having seen quite a few different videos online about how fancy and spacious some of these modern capsule hotels are, I was quite surprised about the lack of virtually any moving around space there was. I shouldn’t have been, as capsule hotels were invented to be as efficient and affordable as possible for primarily ‘salarymen’ in Japan. That is also why this capsule hotel is men’s only. A lot of them are, but there are also a lot of mixed capsule hotels and a few woman’s only ones.

The website lists the dimensions of the capsule hotel as follows:

  • Size high 100cm
  • wide 100cm
  • depth 100cm~200cm

Make of that as you wish, but a depth of 100cm to 200cm doesn’t sound like a lot of space. I am not particularly tall and I had to rest my head at the very end of the capsule to sleep. It’s pretty much just a hostel bunk bed that has been covered on both sides.

There are roughly 200 capsules spread over 6 floors of long rows of capsules. The ground floor is for the reception, the laundry room and the oversized luggage storage room.

 

The Service

I of course can not generalize for all capsule hotels, or even just the one I stayed at personally as I do not know all of the staff, but I had a really good time there. There were a lot of amenities, including face towels, shower gel, conditioner and  shampoo, tooth brushes, tooth paste and razors. There was even a sauna on the 7th floor.

A breakfast voucher was provided by the Capsule Inn for either McDonalds, Sukiya or Mister Donuts, which are all large, popular chains in Japan. You get one donut and and a coffee at Mister Donuts, and a very small menu at McDonalds. There was no room in Sukiya, as it is very popular in the morning, so I do not know what I was missing out on.

Between 10am and 1pm you have to leave the Capsule Inn, even if you are staying multiple nights, as they need the time to clean the floors.

The Rates

The main selling point of a capsule hotel is the price. They are meant to be very cheap and affordable, trading in some of the comfort and privacy for it. The one in Sapporo cost me around 2.700¥, which at the time of posting this equals around 22€ or 24$. This is similar the a hostel bed, which it pretty much is.

Summary

And that is all you need to know about staying at a Japanese capsule hotel. I recommend staying at one of these at least once during your stay in Japan as they are something so uniquely Japanese. Maybe only for one night though, as your back will probably hate you if you stay for longer.

That is all I have time for today, I hope to see you here again soon,
Until then,
send a postcard,
Yona

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