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Tokyo is a colossal city – one that you can explore your whole life and never really know. That’s the real magic and excitement of the place. But it also means that there are a lot of people, and space is limited. Thus, the invention of the capsule hotel: affordable hotels where you sleep in a small capsule comprised of a bed and a few shelves.
These capsules are cosy, practical, and often themed around all sorts of quirky ideas like sci-fi and kawaii cuteness (this is Tokyo, after all). If you’re looking to travel cheaply and conveniently in Tokyo, book yourself into one of these capsule hotels where you’ll have an easy and safe space to sleep that won’t break the bank!
The best capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan
This is absolutely one of the best capsule hotels in Tokyo and perfect if you want to be based in Narita Airport. You’ll find it in terminal 2 and it’s open 24 hours a day! They also have other branches in Shinjuku and Otemachi if you’re looking to be based more centrally. Whatever you’re picturing a capsule hotel to look like, Nine Hours probably isn’t that – it’s futuristic and reminds you of a space station with lit up pods and numbers across the floor.
If we all get flown to Mars one day, I’m pretty sure our ship will look like Nine Hours. Not just aesthetically pleasing, you’ll find it’s actually a luxury capsule experience with sun-rise alarm clocks, plenty of space, and ergonomic pillows. Pyjamas and slippers are also provided if you don’t fancy unpacking. This is one of the most famous capsule hotel chains in the city and with good reason!
This is a wonderful place to stay, particularly if you’re a bibliophile. You may have seen the viral videos about this capsule hotel in Tokyo with its bookshelves that you can sleep on and wall-to-wall books on display. It really is wonderful; curtains are provided to keep your capsule private and you’ll find a book waiting for you on your pillow. There are also some kitchen facilities, tables to work or read at, and some comfy sofas with great views over Tokyo below. It’s pretty safe to assume that everyone else who stays there is a bookworm, so it’s a great place to meet people if you’re travelling alone. They have several locations in Tokyo and in other cities in Japan.
Being based in Shibuya is trendy enough but it’s only added to by the awesome aesthetic of this capsule hotel. It’s colourful, innovative, and a pleasure to stay at. You can’t get more central, it’s based right by the Hachiko statue and the bright lights of Tokyo. One great thing about The Millenials is that you get a pull-out drawer under your bed for all of your luggage which feels a lot more secure and is surprisingly roomy.
What makes The Millenials one of the best capsule hotels in Tokyo is how community-minded it is, it has the feel of a traditional hostel with bright, large spaces to get together and places to work but the privacy of a capsule which for many is an ideal combination.
If you love themed hostels then The Wardrobe is a winner – it’s like Book and Bed but for music lovers. It’s currently the only capsule hotel dedicated to records and you’ll find thousands of jazz records lining the walls and record players in each room of capsules. This definitely makes for a social experience if you want it to be, but even if not it makes the atmosphere there so pleasant.
Jazz music has a long legacy in Japanese culture and with the sheer amount of jazz bars and record stores in Tokyo, it surprising there wasn’t a record-themed hotel sooner! Obviously the music has to be kept off once it’s late so you won’t be losing any sleep. The vintage aesthetic of the hotel complements the theme and the capsules are roomy and comfortable. Wardrobe Hostel Record is just five minutes away from Ueno station so it’s ideal if you’re hoping to visit a lot of Tokyo’s museums or want to head to Ueno Park to see all the cherry blossom or fiery autumn leaves.
This is a wonderful capsule hotel in Tokyo if you’d prefer to be in a ladies-only space; capsule hotels are often associated with males in Tokyo (think drunken nights and missing the last train home) so Nadeshiko are very much trying to buck that stereotype. It’s a luxurious, beautifully decorated option, and they make a lot of effort to provide a touch of luxury despite having budget prices.
For example, in your spacious capsule, you’ll find beautifully coloured yukata (traditional Japanese clothes) to wear around the hotel and if you’ve not worn one before, be prepared for the comfiest experience of your life. They also provide traditional sandals and socks, a vintage touch which juxtaposes the highly modern capsule which features USB sockets, great lighting and an overall homely feel. Don’t miss out on the onsen bathing experience for some intense relaxation after a heavy day of sightseeing.
If you want to experience traditional ryokan style lodging but combine that with a capsule hotel stay then this stunning 16th-century tea house inspired hotel will be a dream come true. The capsules are incredibly roomy and you’ll find a number of pod sizes, which is unusual for this style of the hotel. It’s ideal if you’d like a bigger space or are worried about feeling claustrophobic.
Each room is designed with a different style of traditional Japanese aesthetic and the use of white space and wood makes for a relaxing zen place after a hectic day. There’s a cafe bar (try the locally made sake!) that also serves free breakfast, you’re provided with your own locker, and there’s even a study lounge. It’s also near Ningyocho Station which has easy connections to both Narita and Haneda airport as well as all of the major sightseeing spots.
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