Initially debuted in 1979 in Osaka's Umeda district, the capsule hotel (also known as a pod hotel) is now a common sight all across Japan. The hotel's establishment, which usually has a futuristic design, offers travelers a tiny, capsule-like place to stay.
Typically aimed for businessmen and tight-budgeted travelers, capsule hotels can be an interesting accommodation option to give you a unique staying experience if spending a night in a conventional hotel or bed and breakfast sounds boring to you.
If you are planning to go to Japan, or maybe one day you hope to, online accommodations booking website Booking.com helps to list the 10 most unique and highest-rated capsule hotels in Japan for you to experience the novelty of spending a night the Japanese way.
1. Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku
Located at the heart of Tokyo and just a two-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station, Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku (men only) boasts an Internet cafe, Wi-Fi and a public bath, all free of charge. Sleeping cabins are air-conditioned and feature a tablet PC and flat-screen TV.
Facilities also include a mist sauna and vending machine for snacks and drinks. Guests are welcomed with complimentary green tea and can enjoy a jet bath, unwind in a massage chair, or at a fee relax with a massage.
The sleeping cabins are stacked in two rows in a shared space. Toilets and bathing facilities are shared and brand amenities are provided.
2. Sauna & Capsule Hotel Rumour Plaza
Just a quick walk from the bustling Shijo-Kawaramachi area in Kyoto, this male-only property offers visitors free Wi-Fi access and capsule cabins with flat-screen TVs and satellite channels.
The sleeping capsules are placed next to each other in a shared air-conditioned space. Bathrooms and toilets are shared and there are also a communal sauna and bathroom. Shared lounge, luggage storage and vending machines are also available on site.
3. Oak Hostel Cabin
Opened in March 2015, this brand new capsule hotel in Tokyo is located just a seven-minute walk from the Suitengumae Subway Station.
The property offers travelers capsule rooms, a coin launderette and free Wi-Fi. Guests can also use its common kitchen to prepare meals. Luggage storage and safety deposit boxes are provided free of charge.
4. Capsule Ryokan Kyoto
Just a seven-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, the modern Capsule Ryokan Kyoto features smoke-free Japanese-style rooms and a spacious common lounge area. It offers computer use, free Wi-Fi and free coffee and tea in the lobby.
The tatami-mat capsules are air-conditioned and each features a 16-inch LCD TV and a private locker. The Japanese-style rooms offer 32-inch flat-screen TVs, en suite showers and toilet facilities. Guests are also able to try on traditional Japanese kimonos for free.
5. First Cabin Midosuji Namba
If you travel to Osaka, First Cabin Midosuji Namba offers compact capsule-style rooms with 26-inch LCD TVs, curtain doors and shared bathrooms. It also boasts a spa bath and a modern lounge.
What's unique about this place is that it features compact sleeping compartments with an airplane theme. All sleeping cabins are air-conditioned and come with nightwear and free wired Internet access. Toilets are shared and rooms are separated by gender.
In the evening, the hotel's lounge serves alcohol and soft drinks while ramen noodles and beer can be bought via vending machines. A continental buffet breakfast is also available each morning.
6. First Cabin Tsukiji
Opened in January 2015, First Cabin Tsukiji offers unique capsule rooms in Tokyo for both male and female guests. It is located just a one-minute walk from the Tsukiji subway station and a five-minute walk from the Tsukiji Fish Market.
Each capsule room comes with a flat-screen TV and a power socket. Slippers and toiletries are provided. Guests can opt to unwind at the spacious 24-hour public bathing area. A coin laundromat and drink vending machines are also available on site. Its cafe and bar provides breakfast, light meals and nightly drinks.
7. New Japan Capsule Hotel Cabana
If you are traveling to Osaka, the New Japan Capsule Hotel Cabana (men only) offers one-person sleeping cabins, a spa, a rooftop bar and a restaurant. The property is only a four-minute walk from the Namba Subway Station.
Guests at the hotel can enjoy a hot tub, a relaxation lounge with individual TV screens and even a tanning machine. The spa includes an indoor pool, a fitness centre and saunas. Massage treatments range from Shiatsu to Thai massages. Beauty treatments are also available.
The capsule rooms are stacked by twos in a common area. Each is air-conditioned and comes with a blind for privacy. The restaurant there serves both Japanese and Western favorites. Guests are free to eat in their bathrobes after relaxing at the spa.
8. Nine Hours Narita Airport
Ideally located inside Narita Airport's Terminal 2, Nine Hours Narita Airport offers ultra-modern capsule rooms with a futuristic feel. Each capsule is fitted with a comfortable mattress and a pillow. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi in public areas.
Shower rooms and toilets are shared. Amenities such as bath towels, toothbrushes and nightwear are provided upon checking in.
9. Spa Safro
Located in Sapporo Hokkaido and just a five-minute walk from Susukino Subway Station, Spa Safro provides compact capsule beds with air conditioning and a TV. The property also offers a Japanese/Western restaurant, massage services and hot-spring baths.
Each capsule is equipped with a TV, a radio and an alarm clock. Bathrooms and toilets are shared and amenities are provided. Men and women stay in separate areas. There are two restaurants on site, one for men and one for women, which serve the same menu. Breakfasts and dinners are served on site.
10. 1 Night 1980 Hostel
Only a five-minute walk from the Iriya Subway Station in Tokyo and a 15-minute walk from JR Uguisudani Train Station, 1 Night 1980 Hostel offers compact sleeping capsules with free Wi-Fi access available over its entire property. It features showers, shared bathrooms and free slippers. All capsule rooms are non-smoking.