TOKYO CAPSULE HOTELS - A Complete Guide! - 24 Hours Layover (2023)

Ever thought about spending the night in one of the capsule hotels in Tokyo? Spending the night in Tokyo can be pretty expensive as hotels are quite pricey here in the world’s largest city. However don’t let this put you off!

A cheaper and actually a really authentic Japanese alternative is to experience staying in a capsule hotel. But what is a capsule? How does it work and how to find them? Read on to discover all you need to know about Capsule Hotels in Tokyo!

TOKYO CAPSULE HOTELS - A Complete Guide! - 24 Hours Layover (1)

Why were Capsule Hotels invented?

The concept of capsule hotels took over Japan and especially Tokyo in the late 1970’s as a solution to a growing problem. Japanese businessmen would have a few too many drinks after work and would often miss their train home.

It was far too expensive to get a taxi home or to stay in a hotel for the night. All they needed was somewhere to crash for a bit before heading back to work the following morning.

And so the capsule hotel was created, a unique and fresh idea that offered an affordable and simple place for businessmen to rest their head for a few hours – all for the same price as their long train journey back home to the suburbs.

Nowadays capsule hotels are very popular with tourists when travelling around the country as they are unique to Japan and are really something to be experienced! Plus of course they are a way to save money when travelling around Japan!

But what is a Capsule Hotel?

A capsule hotel is like a pod. It’s not a room, but rather a compartment or space to sleep in. It is very minimalistic and basic with not much space – you crawl into the pod and lie down, but there’s enough space to sit up so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic.

The room is full of pods side by side and two units high, with a bottom pod and a top pod (reached by steps, similar to a bunk bed).

(Video) Overnight Layover in Tokyo at a Capsule Hotel

I don’t want to put grim ideas in your head but imagine a mortuary with all the corpse drawers – at least that’s what helped me imagine it before I had seen one! Or alternatively just look at the picture below to get a better idea!

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What is a capsule like?

Ok so now you have an idea about the sleeping space let me share more details with you. When you check in, the hotel will assign you your capsule number (so make sure you go to the right capsule, they are all numbered).

Females and males are generally segregated on different floors. Once you get to your floor you’ll come to the locker room and the communal bathrooms first.

Put all your belongings in your personal assigned locker that you won’t need overnight, lock it and put on your slippers provided to you at check-in before you go into the sleeping quarters (shoes are not allowed inside there).

As you can see in the picture above, comfortable bedding is always provided. You’ll also often be given cute Japanese style pyjamas, a towel and an amenities kit (including razor, toothbrush and toothpaste) when you check in! Pretty cool huh?! In each pod you’ll also have your own power socket, a reading light and sometimes a TV.

TOKYO CAPSULE HOTELS - A Complete Guide! - 24 Hours Layover (4)

You don’t have a lock on your pod as is it is actually illegal in Japan to lock them – you just pull the shutter down for privacy! Which does mean you’ll have to be quiet as others can hear you. And you can hear them.

But people staying in capsule hotels are usually very considerate, and so far all the ones I have stayed in people have been respectful and quiet and I have been able to get a decent nights sleep.

(Video) MOST CONVENIENT CAPSULE HOTEL EXPERIENCE! | Tokyo Narita Airport 9 Hours Capsule Hotel

At first it may seem really strange having only a fabric shutter separating you from everyone else but trust me, you get used to it!

If you want to make noise, for example make a phone call, there will always be a lounge where you can go – you can also meet other travellers there if you wish!

Otherwise, if watching anything on your phone, please put in headphones and don’t have the volume up loud. Also bear in mind breakfast is often not included in the price.

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This was the first capsule hotel I stayed in – in Asakusa in 2016. It was in a great location but it was pretty dated compared to the other capsule hotels I have stayed in (think 1970s). It has since closed permanently.

Am I safe in a capsule hotel?

Wait, so I have no lock on my pod, are my belongings and I going to be safe when I am sleeping?!

Well in my experience I have always felt very safe every time I have stayed in a capsule hotel. As I mentioned earlier, females and males are generally segregated on different floors.

Not only does this give peace of mind to many women, but you also need your key card or your assigned pin code to gain access to your specific floor from the elevator, which is good for safety as only people permitted into your room will have access to it.

Therooms are always secure, usually with some kind of CCTV in the corridors and you will always have a locker to place your valuables in.

(Video) First Class Capsule Hotel Experience💰🏨 First Cabin Haneda Airport

Howto find and book capsule hotels

I use booking.comor hostelworld.com whenever I am searching for a capsule hotel. Click here to be taken directly to Booking.com’s page for capsule hotels in Tokyo!

Now please don’t think capsule hotels are just like hostels – they are always exceptionally clean, even the bathrooms (it’s Japan, what did you expect?!).

They ARE more dearer than your regular £2 per night hostel in south-east Asia, (often capsule hotels charge around £20-£35 per night which is around¥3000-5,000 – yes it is a fair bit, but it is still a lot cheaper than regular hotels in Tokyo!).

Booking in advance is not always necessary – you can just turn up to a capsule hotel and chances are there will be a spare bed for you! Do book ahead in busy periods though, such as the cherry blossom (sakura) season, when Japan gets very busy.

Below I have listed some of the capsule hotels I have personally stayed in and recommend:

9hours capsule hotel – Shinjuku

This is in a GREAT location – close to the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku and Shibuya so it’s perfect if you’ll be out late in this area in the evening. It is super modern and the sleeping quarters feel quite futuristic! Priced at¥4,900per night.

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Unplan – Kagurazaka

Another lovely capsule hotel, priced at ¥4,500 yen per night. This capsule hotel is relatively undiscovered by tourists as there is not much touristy stuff in Kagurazaka, but it is in a good central location!

There are lots of French people living in this area so there are lots of French cafes on the main street.

(Video) THAILAND CAPSULE HOTEL (sleeping in the Bangkok airport)

Also this is one of the only remaining geisha areas of Tokyo so you may see one wandering around the cobbled streets if you are lucky!! Make sure to check out the lovely Akagi shrine nearby if you have time.

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First Cabin – Tsukiji

Treat yourself and spend the night at First Cabin Tsukiji – it is a step up from the standard capsules as you get a queen size bed and a 32 inch TV in your capsule!

It is very clean, airy and modern, and you can use all the nice toiletries including face wash, pyjamas, hair curlers and hair straighteners! Also it includes great amenities such as an onsen (communal warm bath) so be sure to have a soak in it if you have time!

It is just a few minutes walk from the old Tsukiji Fish Market, and I would definitely stay here again even though Tsukiji fish market has now relocated (sigh)!!

It is a little pricier than other capsule hotels, starting at¥5,800 a night (£40) but it was so worth it.

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For my next stay in Tokyo I will stay at MyCUBE capsule hotel in Asakusa. I have heard lots of great things about this place, the price is great at¥3,900 and the location is perfect so I cannot wait to check it out next time I’m back in town!!

So, ready to stay in a capsule hotel now?! I hope so!

(Video) Tokyo Airport Capsule Hotel | TAKE A TOUR !

Not only do they offer a simple and cheap alternative to other accommodation types available in Tokyo, butI definitely recommend it at least once in your life (I’ve done it several times and every time it is still very exciting!) – it is a really fun experience!

Related Reading:

If it is your first time to Tokyo and you are unsure of what to see and do, check out my article 24 hours in Tokyofor the perfect day taking in all of the cities best sites! Alternatively, have a read of my article 10 top travel tips for Japan if it is your first time visiting Japan! If you are planning to visit Mount Fuji check out my guideto ensure you have the best chance of seeing it!

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FAQs

How long can you stay in a capsule hotel in Tokyo? ›

As far as we know, these days you can stay in a capsule hotel for the same amount of time as you would in a normal hotel, i.e. roughly 12 hours. However, you can check in and check out in short order if that's what you need to do. Some capsule hotels do have hourly options for travelers who just need a short rest.

How long should I stay in capsule hotel? ›

Capsule hotels are 100% worth at least one evening of your city break stay. However, I recommend that you spend no longer than a night or two inside. I say this because of the reasons stated above; they do become to be a hassle if you are choosing to stay for a longer duration.

Are capsule hotels claustrophobic? ›

Are capsule hotels claustrophobic? Most capsule hotels are cozy but not cramped. You'll have room to move around, and of course you're free to get out of your capsule whenever you wish.

Do capsule hotels have doors? ›

Inside a capsule. The sleeping capsules do not have solid doors, and may just come with curtains or blinds. So you may hear people walking around, as well as sounds like snoring from nearby capsules.

Can you get out of Tokyo airport during layover? ›

Since the airport is situated within Narita City, you can easily head out and explore the nearby attractions during an extended layover.

Can you go out Tokyo during layover? ›

Though Tokyo may not be the final destination on your journey, that doesn't mean you can't make the most of your limited time in the capital! If you have a half day to spare during your layover or stopover, you can head from the airport to the center of Tokyo and see some of the top tourist spots.

Why do people stay in capsule hotels? ›

Capsule hotels provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require or who cannot afford larger, more expensive rooms offered by more conventional hotels.

Why do Japanese hotels give you pajamas? ›

The concept of many Japanese hotels is that a guest can show up with minimal luggage and find everything required for an overnight stay, including pajamas. These are usually available in several sizes, so if you don't find a pair that fits, just ask hotel staff.

Why are hotel stays not 24 hours? ›

Because housekeeping employees typically work 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., hotels may need to pay overtime or add shifts to process early check-ins and late checkouts. That's costly. Hotels also risk losing revenue if you check out at, say, 8 p.m.--far past the time most guests are willing to check in.

Can two people sleep in a capsule hotel? ›

The 120 capsule rooms are not much bigger than the size of a bed, and are stacked one on top of another, like enclosed bunk beds. Tokyo Kiba has capsules large enough to sleep two (which is rare), along with its single-size capsules.

Why can't capsule hotels have locks? ›

No Locks on Capsule Doors

Due to Japan's hotel laws, individual hotel rooms can't have locks on their doors – and neither can a sleep capsule. Though you'll have a curtain, blind, or a small door, there isn't a way to lock your pod.

What to do if you get claustrophobic on a plane? ›

Practice deep breathing as soon as you get onto the plane. Panicked people tend to intensify their anxiety by taking shallow, short breaths. Close your eyes, breathe deeply through your nose and exhale slowly. Repeat this type of breathing until you feel calm.

What is it like staying in a capsule hotel? ›

It's a cross between a hotel and hostel. You get your own 'pod' rather than a room, which is in a room with lots of other pods, BUT you're completely closed off from the room. You have your own lighting, electricity, mirror, table and sometimes even a TV.

Are capsule hotels soundproof? ›

When asked if the capsules are sound proof, Oliver said “no”. “In saying that, if someone is having a conversation next door you wouldn't be able to hear it.” “It's most definitely more sound proof than a six bedroom dorm at a hostel,” he concluded.

Can you bring an ice chest into a hotel? ›

Yes you can! I have every time I've gone there. It's handy if you want to make yourself lunch or something. My boyfriend and I usually would bring wraps and have lunch in the room.

Can I leave the airport during a 24 hour layover? ›

If you have an excessive layover time you may be wondering: Can I leave the airport between connecting flights? The short answer is yes. It is possible to exit and reenter the airport.

Do I need a Covid test for a layover in Tokyo? ›

Please note that, if you intend to leave the airport or stay at an accommodation facility outside the airport when at a transit point, you must take your test within the 72 hours before the departure time of your connecting flight.

What if I have a layover in Tokyo? ›

For a short layover within the airport a visa is not needed, for a longer layover such as an overnight stay which will see you leaving the terminal you will need a tourist visa or a transit visa. Whichever the case may be you can certainly make the most out of your brief stay in Japan!

Can you sleep in airport during layover? ›

If you do have an overnight layover and will be spending the night at the airport, remember your options. You can stay in an airport hotel both within transit or on the public side, you could sleep or rest in the airport terminal itself.

Do I need visa for Japan if I have layover? ›

For travelers making a brief stopover in Japan while en route to another country, transit visas are required. Activities are limited to rest and leisure, and do NOT include business-related activities or visiting family and friends.

Do I need Japan visa for layover? ›

If you are visiting someone in Japan, or if your main purpose is for sightseeing or business, you need a Temporary Visitor's Visa. * No visa required if you are staying at the airport and are not going through the immigration.

Do hotels clean your room during your stay? ›

Today, however, the majority of hotels aren't cleaning your room unless you're staying more than three nights. These hotels have realized that it's not cost-effective, necessary, or even safe to do a thorough cleaning every day.

What is a love hotel for? ›

As the name suggests, the main purpose of love hotels is to provide couples with a room to spend some undisturbed time together. The rooms are equipped according to their purpose with large double beds, a television offering erotic programs, a nice bathroom, etc.

Are capsule hotels cheaper than hotels? ›

One of the major selling points of capsule hotels is the price tag. They're usually cheaper than a regular hotel, and when you're spending most of your time out and about you may well find you don't miss the extra room all that much.

Do Japanese wear slippers to the bathroom? ›

The genkan isn't the only time you'll come across slippers, though. Homes and restaurants sometimes have separate toilet slippers to wear when entering the bathroom, and some onsen and sento bathhouses have optional rubber slippers, too.

Can you sleep at your desk in Japan? ›

Welcome to Japan, where dozing off at work is perfectly fine. In fact, it might even get you a promotion in the near future, as it shows the level of “dedication” you have for your job. Clearly, it's an envy of the rest of the world, but how exactly is it possible?

What do people wear to bed in Japan? ›

Today, people wear them to sleep, lounge around, or attend to their children's bedtime rituals. In Japan, pajamas are called yukata or jinbei. Yukaya are always one-piece garments with wide sleeves and are traditionally made from cotton or silk fabrics in bright colors.

Do hotels allow 24 hour check-in? ›

Most large hotel chains allow visitors to get a room 24 hours a day. However, small independent hotels that don't affiliate with any chain will usually close their lobby between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.

What is the 24 hour basis of a hotel? ›

it means you can check-in anytime and the checkout will be after 24 hours from the checked in time. in short , no fixed time for check-in and check-out.

Can you get a hotel to sleep during the day? ›

You can book a hotel room for the day or for few hours, eyes closed; Dayuse has made a selection of boutique hotels based on their location, design and quality. Everything has been designed to allow you to book a hotel room for the day so easily!

What happens if you bring extra person to hotel? ›

Hotels don't allow extra guests in most cases, but it's often difficult for them to know you've added guests unless you cause trouble. Some hotels charge additional fees for adding people to your party, but oftentimes, they need to have an accurate headcount for fire and safety reasons.

Do hotels allow 3 people in one room? ›

It depends on number of guests you have and number of rooms the hotel have. Normally two guests can be accommodated in one room comfortably and another one guest can stay as an extra person upon booking. Need to check all parameters while booking. You can book a room according to your need.

Do hotels allow 4 people in one room? ›

Many hotels have a standard capacity of four people, but some may be able to accommodate up to five. If you have a large family, it is important to ask this question upfront. What is this? If you're not sure whether or not the hotel can accommodate your family size, just give them a call and ask.

Do hotel front desks have condoms? ›

Condoms. It is never advertised and no hotel employee will bring it up, but almost every decent hotel has free condoms available upon request. If you're caught without, don't be afraid to call the front desk and ask them to send a few condoms to your room.

Do hotel rooms keep condoms? ›

yes they will. Just put your room number in the details.

What can calm me down on a plane? ›

5 useful tips for keeping calm during long flights
  • Fight fear with knowledge: When it comes to a fear of flying, your anxiety is essentially tricking your body into thinking it's in immediate danger. ...
  • Practice breathing exercises: ...
  • Refocus your attention: ...
  • Strike up a conversation: ...
  • Drink lots of water:
5 Sept 2019

How can I calm my nerves on a plane? ›

  1. Name your phobia. ...
  2. Familiarize yourself with airplane noises. ...
  3. Check the turbulence forecast. ...
  4. Bring a photo of your destination. ...
  5. Skip coffee and wine. ...
  6. Distract yourself. ...
  7. Tell the flight attendants. ...
  8. Embrace safety information.

How do I overcome anxiety on a plane? ›

If you feel yourself getting panicked, start your deep breathing exercise. This will help relieve your stress and anxiety by calming your nervous system. This also helps prevent hyperventilation because you'll be slowing your breath and breathing out for as long as you can until you inhale your next big breath.

How do you survive a sketchy hotel? ›

Bring some disinfecting wipes and wipe off some of these surfaces before you touch them. Bring a pair of flip-flops you can wear in a grimy shower. Consider removing the bedspread altogether; if you get cold, use the bathroom towels for warmth. If the bed sheets look dirty, ask the front desk for a replacement set.

Can families stay in a capsule hotel? ›

Surprisingly enough, capsule hostels are absolutely family friendly! We ran into so many families in both hostels, and my 6-year-old made lots of friends at each one. Families with more than two people usually rent both a top and bottom capsule, which is kind of like a bunk bed but still separated and private.

Is sleeping in an ice hotel cold? ›

It's cold, but not that cold.

The temperature inside an ice hotel room is usually around 23 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it's pretty far from tropical, it's not going to plunge too far past freezing.

Can hotels film you in your room? ›

Off Limits Areas

When there is a general or specific expectation of privacy, cameras are off limits. This usually includes rented areas, hotel rooms and even locker rooms due to the possibility that those in these areas may become naked or performing in activity that is deemed private by those that pass these laws.

What is the quietest floor in a hotel? ›

Some of the quietest locations in a hotel are midway down a hallway. That's usually away from centralized elevators, and stairways at the end of the hall. In larger hotels, try a room on an upper floor to minimize noise from meeting rooms, restaurants, and the street.

Is the stuff in hotel fridges free? ›

your mini bar items are included as most places, unless you call and request more. Most places will fill every day or two, but if you request a refill, then you can get charged -- not all AI's are this way, but they will let you know upon check-in how it works.

Where do you go to the bathroom in an Icehotel? ›

There are no bathrooms (except the Deluxe Suites) or storage in the Ice rooms or Art suites. These facilities are housed in a heated service building, where you also keep your belongings during the night.

What do you wear to sleep in the Icehotel? ›

Sleeping on ice

For your night in Icehotel, we recommend you wear thermal underwear, thin wool socks and a hat. The key is to think layers that allow good ventilation of body heat, materials that breathe and avoiding perspiration.

Can you live in a Japanese capsule hotel? ›

No, you can stay for as many nights as you like (but you'd probably not want to), but you have to vacate the capsule in the morning until afternoon to let people clean it and change linens. Capsule is only good for a night's experience though.

Is there a limit to how long you can stay in Japan? ›

You can stay in Japan up to 90 days for temporary visitor status (for most countries). But, you can stay longer in Japan if you have a student visa, working visa, working holiday visa and some other types of visa.

How long can you stay in a love hotel Japan? ›

Love hotels (ラブホテル, also known as boutique or fashion hotels) are hotels that offer double rooms for short periods of time. Typically you can rent a room for a minimum of one to three hours during the day, called a "rest", or for the whole night, called a "stay", which usually starts after 10 pm.

How long can they hold you in Japan? ›

If you are arrested, you can be held for up to 23 days, with a possibility of extension, without being formally charged with a crime. First, the Japanese police may detain you for up to 48 hours.

Do rental girlfriends exist in Japan? ›

Rental Girlfriend Services in Japan, Do They Exist? The answer to that is yes, they do exist in real life. These rent-a-girlfriend services are not a new thing, they had been around for quite some time as the solution for lonely men.

Do hotel rooms have cameras in Japan? ›

S: From my experience, I'd say absolutely no, with 99.99-percent certainty. The management hiding secret cameras in the room is something that's just not done. Of course, there are cameras at some places within the hotel itself. But they're placed in common areas like the parking lot, the entrance, and the elevators.

What is the best month to go to Japan? ›

When is the best time to visit Japan? The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). This is when Japan is at its most vibrant, with delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves adding contrast to the scenery. Remember, it can also be very crowded at this time.

What is the penalty for overstaying in Japan? ›

BAN ON ILLEGAL STAY/EMPLOYMENT

*Overstaying the permitted period of stay is punishable with an imprisonment, with/without hard labor, not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding three million yen.

Do you need Japan visa for connecting flights? ›

For travelers making a brief stopover in Japan while en route to another country, transit visas are required. Activities are limited to rest and leisure, and do NOT include business-related activities or visiting family and friends.

Do love hotels have condoms? ›

Do love hotels provide condoms? Love hotels usually provide a few free condoms; look for them in a box by the bed. They may not be great condoms though, so we advise you bring your own.

What should I expect at a love hotel? ›

You will also often get a TV and free access to some spicier channels. Most love hotels also have room service with more than decent food, gadgets and toys, a lot of toiletries and, oftentimes, free protection. There may also be a vending machine selling cosplay costumes or similar free rentals available.

Can you hug in public in Japan? ›

Best not greet a Japanese person by kissing or hugging them (unless you know them extremely well). While Westerners often kiss on the cheek by way of greeting, the Japanese are far more comfortable bowing or shaking hands. In addition, public displays of affection are not good manners.

Can Japanese police search your house? ›

Search and seizure (including urine or blood test) requires a search warrant, “describing the place to be searched and things to be seized.” Therefore, you may refuse the search if the police do not have a warrant, and there is the possibility that the police will search you or your property if you do not explicitly ...

Why is crime so low in Japan? ›

The cultural explanation is simplistic. Explaining low crime with culture is to say that collectivist traits like group-orientation, inclination towards harmony, and high self-control are why the Japanese do not murder, assault, and steal from each other as much as others in different countries.

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