Capsule hotels are accommodations that have scrapped the idea of a single private room and instead focused on basic necessities like sleeping and bathing to provide the most comfortable stay at the lowest prices. The capsule units that provide rest are shaped like aircraft cabins. They generally have two floors, continuing down the hall.
Many people think that the only thing to do in a capsule hotel is sleep, but in fact, many have large bathrooms, saunas, and spacious lounges that are even better equipped than some commercial hotels.
Capsule hotels opened in 1979 in Osaka in the bustling Umeda district. During the 1960s, the word “capsule” (“kapuseru”) began to appear in Japanese. Sometimes English words change meaning when they are converted into Japanese, but the word “capsule” retains similarity to the one in English: very futuristic. This is the reason why “capsule” was used to describe these small and compact hotels.
How does it work ?
In recent years, value-added services, such as women-only flats, sophisticated business lounges, thermal baths, tablets, pajamas included, a small TV in the capsule, free WiFi, and sleeve rental services , are making capsule hotels more attractive and at a fast pace.
Another feature of capsule hotels is being able to secure accommodation without prior reservation. This is because capsule hotels have more rooms than commercial hotels. Therefore, many people, like businessmen who have missed their last trains, or young people who are in town for a concert and want to save on accommodation, often use capsule hotels, and many show up without reservations.
There is no way to lock the room, so luggage must be put in the hotel’s assigned locker.
Silence should be kept in the capsule room so that all guests can rest. No talking or making phone calls in these areas.
Inside the hotel locker or inside the capsule you will find what is necessary for the stay (towels and pajamas).
Do not eat or drink in the room.
The rooms are non-smoking.
Luggage cannot be left in front of the room.
Generally, when leaving the hotel it is necessary to give the key to the person at the reception and when returning again ask the employee for it.
Some hotels require that the guest leave shoes in a locker and go up to the upper floors barefoot or with slippers (sold at the reception at a very low price).
Although some capsule hotels have private showers in the bathing areas, the vast majority have a single large public bath that includes hot springs.
There is a wide variety of capsule hotels, from the most basic to the most luxurious, therefore it is recommended to review several options before choosing where to stay.
For those who want to travel economically while feeling comfortable, it is recommended to use a capsule hotel during their stay in Japan.