Capsule Hotels for female travellers to Japan - is it a sensible choice?

When I was doing my architecture course, I learned about one of the renowned architects of the twentieth century, Kisho Kurokawa - who designed world's first capsule hotel - Nakagin Capsule Tower. At that time, I was deeply fascinated by the idea and had this desire to live in one. This wish never left my mind; I was lucky when in the year 2016 when I visited Tokyo, I booked one for a night and got a chance to experience one.

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My Capsule Hotel

In Japanese, these hotels are called "kapuseru " and the most famous one is Nine Hours which is frequently visited at the Tokyo Airport - gives you a glimpse of the housing of tomorrow.
Rekijo koka are the ones solely for women - perfect for female visitors who have a strong interest in history.

A bit of history about Capsule Hotels

The history of a capsule hotel dates back a long time. It seems these hotels were made for the working class Japanese men who would finish their day late or were drinking in izakayas and if they missed the last train to home return home, or were too ashamed to go back home to face their wives, they would slide themselves into these pods. It was hardly glamorous then and just worked for them at super cheap cost. It is now exotic as well as super-good as a budget hotel for young travellers - becoming trendy as an accommodation option for travellers all around Asia and Europe.

The Capsule hotel at Asakusa Riverside is the one I stayed in, and I thought it was a decent one both as per the reviews I read online as well as my personal experience. The price per night wasn't high and cost me around 2500 JPY, which isn’t bad at all considering usual hotel prices in Tokyo.

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Outside the hotel

It’s also situated just a 1-minute walk from Asakusa Subway Station which is amidst busy marketplace. I even ate the local ramen soup after consulting at the reception.

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Food time!

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Ramen!

Checking-in at the Capsule hotel

After I booked a stay, I arrived late, walking around the neighbourhood, while making sure I knew my pod. At the reception desk, I was given the keys to my lockers. There are lockers to put the luggage/belongings, and another - smaller one to store your clothes, coat, slippers.  It is mandatory to leave your shoes in the locker and put on the slippers from the hotel. Shouldn't get inside the room with your shoes on as disrespecting in Japan to do so.

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At the reception

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My room, my bed :)

Once you get in the capsules area, you will have a capsule number and a key. The place is super quiet, so making less noise, find yours in the row, open it and draw back the curtain to slip into the bed.

Facilities at the Capsule Hotel

There is a wall mounted TV, which will typically only has Japanese channels to watch; there was also a radio, an adjustable alarm clock and a lamp which you can turn on to read at night. It reminded me of AC coaches in our Indian trains.

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TV!

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Ah! So much space :)

Each sleeping area on the floor has showers and baths just outside for the guests.

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Simple and basic bathroom

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Space for luggage

You’ll just have to remember to be careful when you wake up, avoid getting bumped on your forehead!

Tips for female travellers

1) Read about the hotel you are booking. You should read the experience of other female reviewers
2) Have a decent budget - higher budget can get you better places
3) There are also men-only and female only hotels, and even female-only dorms, to have a peaceful sleep in the night, you can choose to book a female only box

If you have already experienced one such stay, do share your experience or next time you are in Japan, don't miss the authentic Japanese experience of sleeping in these small boxes!

If you are interested to know more, read about the trend of capsule hotels here: How capsule became a global trend and also here to know more about how it's become a trend for women travellers too!

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This is a guest-post on Capsule Hotels by M and based on her personal experiences at the hotel.

Comments

  1. Check Spelling of title "it it " that may be Is it.

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  2. Well I have to say you will never catch me sleeping in one of these pods-no way no how! I find it crazy that people would pay for this? Seems like a hostel would be cheaper and better no? But then again-I don't like tight spaces. I'm so surprised to see this kind of business charging people for this small of a sleeping space but then again I have been to New York and had to pay $300 for a super tiny hotel room so I guess I see why these are starting in super expensive cities that don't have enough space for all the people who want to visit

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  3. We are planning a trip to Japan, and here everyone things we "have to" sleep in a capsule hotel (because it's glam!). Yet... I honestly don't know if we should. Not because I'm scared of being on my own, actually, but because in such a tiny space I'm terrified I'd feel claustrophobic!

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  4. Capsules hotels are quite a trend in Asia! Your "room" looks fairly comfortable and spacious. If I need a place just to rest. this would be an ideal option!

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  5. Good to know that there are female only hotels and dorms!

    It would be pity to miss sleeping in a capsule hotel when in Japan. It is a must experience in Japan!

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  6. I'd love to stay in one of these! It's a great way to save money but also such a unique experience, even if it is quite small.

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  7. Capsule hotels seem to becoming fashionable all over the world. I must say they are not for me. I find then pods too small and claustrophobic. I managed a couple of hours in a pod at Dubai airport and that was about all I could cope with,.

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  8. Thank you for sharing an interesting blog for female travelers.

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  9. I had never heard of capsule hotels before, so I was surprised to learn that they aren't a completely new concept. I love how efficient and space saving they are! Plus, I love that this would force me to simplify my packing!

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  10. Want an intriguing article. I think I could stay in a small space like that. Especially to save some money. I want to try a capsule out now, just for the novelty of it. What an experience.

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  11. You are so right about taking note of Women reviews for these hotels. Sometimes, the practical aspect of these for a woman are different from the men. However, these do look decent enough for a budget accommodation.

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  12. I read a lot of different information and reviews about such hotels, but it seems to me that the standard room is a much better option for recreation.

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