A Capsule Hotel is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of small bed-sized rooms known as “capsules.” Since its invention in the ’70s, Capsules Hotels in Japan gained popularity among business people for their “good value for money”. For many Japanese business persons who missed the last train of the day to make a return trip home, staying at Capsule Hotels has been an economical alternative to taking a taxi all the way home.
However, in addition to such economical Capsule Hotels, we see more varieties of modern Capsule Hotels today to meet the growing demand from foreign tourists. As a matter of fact, the number of capsule hotels in Tokyo has tripled in the last 5 years. Some high-end Capsule Hotels are not necessarily cheap, but still, offer relatively good value for money and also unique staying experiences.
What is a Capsule Hotel?
Each guest room or a capsule is roughly the length and width of a single bed. The capsules are stacked side-by-side, usually two units high, with steps that provide access to the second level capsules. The price point starts from as low as ¥2,000 (USD 18) per night. However, “high-end capsules” starts from ¥6,000 (USD 55) per night.
How are the high-end capsules different?
Compared to the traditional capsules, the high-end capsules are generally more fashionable and luxurious. They usually offer a set of amenities (ex. shampoos, toothbrushes, etc.) and possibly a larger communal (ex. lounge, bath, and bar/restaurant) compared to the traditional ones. Unfortunately, to men (including myself) some of them are exclusively for women guests only.
Here’s the list of 3 Coolest Capsule Hotels to stay in Tokyo today:
#1. Hotel Zen Tokyo
The concept of the hotel is “a Japanese tea room where you can stay.” Hotel Zen is located in Ningyo-cho, only 20 mins by walk from Tokyo Station. In most hotels, capsules are two units high like bunk beds; however, all the capsules at Hotel Zen Tokyo are one unit high. The higher ceiling would make you feel a lot more spacious than the ordinary capsules.
There are five types of room and two different sizes for the beds (single and semi-double) you can choose from. There’re two floors dedicated to female guests, where you need a special key to enter.
Official Website: https://www.hotelzen.jp/ Price: 6,000 yen+ (US $55 and above) per night Location: 1 Chome−5−8, Nihonbashiningyocho, Chuo-city, Tokyo
#2. First Cabin
First Cabin is a popular hotel chain, which operates close to 30 capsule hotels across Japan today. It offers luxurious capsule rooms that imitate “First Class Seats” on a flight. Although First Cabin is a chain, each location offers a different design that you can enjoy.
The price varies depending on which class you choose: First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, and Premium Class (it’s a bit confusing, but Premium Class is the largest).
Official Website: https://first-cabin.jp/en/ Price: Available from around 5,000 yen (USD 45) per night, but the price significantly varies depending on a location and a room type. Some rooms can be as expensive as 15,000 yen (USD140) or above. Location (Nihonbashi Yokoyama-cho): 6-16 Nihonbashiyokoyamacho, Chuo City, Tokyo
#3. Nadeshiko Hotel (For Female Guests Only)
Nadeshiko Hotel is a capsule hotel whose mission is to “support women who love traveling in Japan.” It offers amodern Japanese-style facilities, including capsules that are relatively spacious than traditional ones. It’s located in 10 mins walking distance from Shibuya station.
What’s noteworthy is its three different traditional Japanese baths – the main big bathtub, the cypress wood bathtub, and a pot-type bathtub. You would relax and forget that you’re in the midst of Shibuya city.
Founder of Japan Insider (Previously known as Ryu Tokyo). Japanese-born entrepreneur. Spent his life around the globe, including Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Canberra, and NYC. MBA from Columbia University in the City of New York