Like so many things here in Japan, capsule hotels were created for the sake of convenience. Despite the ‘work hard play hard’ mentality here, you might be surprised to learn that most trains actually only run until midnight! As you can imagine, this can leave you in quite the predicament if you end up stranded in the city. Thus the capsule hotel was born, where businessmen could crash after a night of drinking and be fresh for work again the next morning. But of course, today anyone from locals to tourists are able to use these unique hotels.
Anyway, I’ve been fascinated by capsule hotels for the longest time. I’m not exactly sure where the appeal lies in sleeping in what’s essentially a little coffin, but it’s always seemed so fun to me! The place I stayed at is called Booth in Shinjuku, and is actually both a manga cafe and capsule hotel in one. Reception’s open 24 hours a day, so I was able to check in at midnight with no problems.
Ordinarily capsule hotels are specified as being for men only, but this one actually has a section strictly for females. The area requires an electronic pass to enter, so it’s very secure. The capsule itself comes with a power outlet, alarm clock and a light with adjustable settings. While the door was just a mesh screen, I was pretty lucky that my neighbours were quiet and I managed to sleep like a baby!
Since I checked in pretty late, I didn’t have much time to take advantage of the unlimited drinks and ice cream available. However, you can pay to use the amenities and computer booths for a certain period of time without staying the night. Definitely something you might want to consider if you have a few hours to kill in Tokyo!
The common area where you can use the PCs and read manga to your heart’s content. The format is pretty much like any manga cafe you can find here in Japan, except with a way more pleasant atmosphere. If you’ve seen the fluorescent lighting and dankness of a regular manga cafe here, you’d definitely know what I mean.
Anyway, that’s one more thing I can tick off the bucket list! The stay was a tad expensive (especially considering showers cost extra) but I’d totally do it again. The only catch is that it’s best to stay for one night, since they require you to check out when they clean out the capsules each day. Also, booking in advance is a must! Kinda sucks considering the whole point of a capsule is to be a last minute accommodation, but I guess that can’t be helped considering how popular they’ve gotten lately.