Travelers visiting Japan who are saving their budget and are not claustrophobic can find the perfect accommodation in the country's iconic capsule hotels.
Capsule hotels are the craze in Japan. It offers its guest tiny, yet comfortable pods for a very low cost. Capsule Inn Osaka, the first capsule hotel in the country was opened in 1979.
Although it took quite a few years for the world to notice the unique lodge, it can now be found anywhere in the world from Iceland, Hong Kong, India, Belgium, Philippines, and many more countries.
Japanese capsule hotels initially had a bad reputation. Most often situated in popular bar areas, the coffin-sized pods are notoriously rented by Japanese middle-class men when they cannot go home due to drunkenness, or because they missed the last train home.
What To Expect In Capsule Hotels
Now, the status of these hotels has been elevated. The trendy blend of style and function attracts both foreign travelers and local business people who are in search for a cheap, and fashionable place to sleep in.
The capsules are unlike any other accommodation. Instead of a room that could fit multiple people, the self-contained pod can only fit one. Depending on what guests pay for, it comes with a bed, lights, a television, radio, shelves, outlets and many more.
The vibe of the pods ranges from a comfortable mini-room equipped with a window with a view, or plastic tubs that make people feel as if they are part of a sci-fi movie.
Some hotels like Nine Hours have rooms that resemble a plastic tube, with spaces for clocks and shelves. Meanwhile, some also blur the line between a capsule hotel and a hostel. One popular example is K's House, which has a room within a room concept. Meaning, each room has four pods. Here, guests feel like they are just staying in someone else's home.
The best way to describe staying in a pod is narrowing down the bare necessities of a regular hotel room, and stacking in it a small space that would only fit a bed. This is why people who suffer from claustrophobia will not enjoy them.
The bathrooms in capsule hotels are also communal, like that of a hostel. Not to worry, Japan prides itself on clean and well-maintained bathrooms. Mostly, capsule rooms are co-ed. However, some hotels split men and women into separate floors.
Staying in a pod also has many advantages. With its cheap rate that is comparable to a hostel, guests get a bed for the night, and a clean bathroom and shower to use. Although people staying in capsule hotels would not expect to meet as many fellow travelers compared to staying in a hostel, it should still be added to the tourist's to-do list when visiting Japan