Capsule hotels are accommodations that have discarded the idea of a private single room and, instead, have focused on basic needs such as sleeping and bathing to provide the most comfortable stay at the lowest prices. The capsule units that provide rest have the shape of aircraft cabins. They generally have two floors, continuing down the hall.
Many people think that the only thing that can be done in a capsule hotel is to sleep, but in fact, many have large bathrooms, saunas and spacious lounges that are even better equipped than some commercial hotels.
Capsule hotels opened in 1979 in Osaka in the bustling district of Umeda. During the 1960s, the word "capsule" ("kapuseru" or カ プ セ ル) began to appear in Japanese. Sometimes, English words change meaning when they become Japanese, but the word "capsule" retains similarity to what it has in English: very futuristic. This is why "capsule" was used to describe these small and compact hotels.
In recent years, value-added services, such as exclusive apartments for women, sophisticated business rooms, thermal baths, tablets, pajamas included, a small TV in the capsule, free Wi-Fi and manga rental services , they are making capsule hotels increasingly attractive and at an accelerated pace.
Another feature of capsule hotels is to be able to secure accommodation without prior reservation. This is because capsule hotels have more rooms than commercial hotels. Therefore, many people, such as businessmen who have lost their last trains, or young people who are in town for a concert and want to save on accommodation, often use capsule hotels, and many show up without reservations.
There is no way to securely close the room, so luggage must be placed in the assigned hotel locker.
Silence should be made in the capsule room so that all guests can rest. You should not talk or make phone calls in these areas.
Inside the hotel locker or inside the capsule you will find what is necessary for your stay (towels and pajamas).
You should not eat or drink in the room.
The rooms are non-smoking.
Luggage cannot be left in front of the room.
Generally, when leaving the hotel it is necessary to give the key to the person at the reception and upon returning again ask the employee.
Some hotels require the guest to leave their shoes in a locker and go up to the upper floors barefoot or with slippers (sold at the reception at a very economical price).
Although some capsule hotels have private showers in the bathing areas, the vast majority have a single large public bath that includes hot springs.
There are a wide variety of capsule hotels, from the most basic to the most luxurious, therefore it is recommended to review several options before choosing where to stay.
For those who wish to travel economically and at the same time feel comfortable, it is recommended to use a capsule hotel during their stay in Japan.