Capsule Hotels – All about this Japan accommodation

Have you heard of Capsule Hotels? How did they come about? In this article, we are going to talk all about this Japanese invention, Japan's famous capsule hotels, their curiosities and origins.

The kapuseru hoteru [カプセルホテル] is a brilliant idea, offering super cheap accommodation without the services offered by conventional hotels. They are shared rooms with thousands of capsules that offer accommodation for a good night's sleep.

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How are Japan Capsule Hotels?

The guest's accommodation is inside a modular plastic or fiberglass block measuring 2m x 1m x 1.25m, serving as a dormitory. In addition to the capsule, the person has access to a locker with a password or key to place their valuables.

On-site entertainment options vary (most include a television, console and wireless internet connection). Some capsule hotels offer an onsen, resting place, massage and other perks found in regular hotels.

We also recommend reading: 7 onsen to visit in Japan

The price depends a lot on the location, if you are lucky enough you can find between 50 to 150R$ per night. It may not seem so cheap to Brazilians, but it is very cheap for the Japanese pocket. Prices may vary depending on dates and holidays.

Capsule hotels are known for accommodating workers who miss the last train and don't want to pay for a taxi, or for those who have had too much Sake at bars and karaoke.

Capsule Hotels - All About This Japan Accommodation

Hostels vs Hotels capsules

If you look through Japan Hostels, you will come across some capsule hotels. The great truth is that the difference between these two places is small.

In the West most hostels tend to be small, friendly shared rooms, but in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, hostels are practically giant rooms with about 40 beds that look more like capsules.

I think the only difference between these Japanese hostels and capsule hotels is in the material that surrounds the bed. Hostels are usually made of wood, while traditional capsules are made of fiber or plastic.

I personally prefer hostels as they give a more homely feel, while capsules look a bit industrial and weird.

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Capsule Hotels - All About This Japan Accommodation

Problems of capsule hotels

Not everything is wonderful, cheap usually has its problems. Capsules are limited in size. Very tall people may literally not fit in the capsule. Hotel hours are limited.

Sleepers on duty may find it difficult to adapt to the hotel's 9-hour philosophy. Fortunately some capsule hotels allow multiple nights permitem, but you'll probably have to check out before 11am.

Capsules are not a good option for family travel. Couples are separated and children are not allowed in the hotel. There are hotels that prohibit the entry of women, they have valid reasons, but they do not provide an option for the female sex.

There are also women-only hotels, but some offer pods on a mixed floor, allowing you to stay close to your girlfriend or wife, and maybe even share a pod at night (you'll have to pay for two).

Capsule hotels

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Facts about capsule hotels

  • The first capsule hotel was opened in 1979 in Osaka;
  • The idea to create a capsule hotel is said to have originated in a sauna in Osaka;
  • Collective baths end up discouraging some tourists.
  • In addition to capsule hotels there is something similar called a "Cabin Hotel";
  • In 2009, a capsule hotel was opened in Warsaw, Poland;
  • In 2011, a capsule hotel was opened in Shanghai China, but it was closed;
  • Some capsule hotels are made up of up to 700 or more capsules;
  • One of these Hotels Offers 4,000 Books and Mangas for Reading;
  • It is possible to find vending machines in the Hotel, and have your meal and have some;

Capsule hotels are easy to find on hotel search engines like Booking and AirBNB.

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Videos on Capsule Hotels

To go deeper into the capsule hotels I will end by leaving a video in English talking about these hotels:

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