Japan is notorious for being an expensive country to visit, even in terms of food and accommodation. But being a country of ingenuity, Japan also has several available modes of emergency accommodation made especially for those who can’t quite get home for the night or those who need to live on a shoestring budget. One of these options is the capsule inn or the capsule hotel which cost around 30 to 40 USD per stay.
The name describes the experience accurately with visitors being offered the rental of a small, capsule sized ‘bedroom’ at a fraction of the price of other rental accommodation.
Who Uses the Capsule Inn?
Capsule Hotels were primarily designed for the legions of Japanese businessmen in Tokyo who stay at work until extremely late at night and are needed at work early in the morning. On the nights where it doesn’t seem viable to make the long train trip home, these men utilize the capsule hotels located in the city.
Due to the fact that capsule inns in Japan are used by people who may be unprepared for spending the night away from home, they are fully equipped with bathroom amenities along with a shower and a bath.
Foreigners are also known to utilize capsule inns and most will encounter communicable English speaking clerks at the desk. The capsule inn provides a locker room for storage. The only foreseeable downside is that taller foreigners who may be 6ft+ may feel cramped as the capsules are usually 2m in length.
There was a time where women were not catered to in capsule inns for their own security reasons but now there are capsule inns available that have secluded male and female areas as one would find at an onsen.
Inside the Capsule Inn
Payment is made into a vending machine where the guest is given a ticket to give to the clerk. This is a common practice in Japan with many meals also being sold in this manner at smaller restaurants and food establishments.
Each capsule has a small TV, reading light, alarm clock, radio and some capsules offer adult videos to be played through the TV at the push of a button. Unfortunately however, the capsules don’t usually contain their own heating or cooling units.
Along with the available bathroom amenities, capsule inns in Japan are also equipped with it’s own store for a change of clothes, a TV room with comfortable chairs and its own small restaurant and bar making it an extremely condensed, yet well equipped hotel.