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Few things scream Japanese culture quite like a capsule hotel. Fusing a budget-friendly midpoint between a cheap yet functional hotel and a hostel, a capsule hotel offers all of the socializing with a little more privacy. You’ll spot these capsule hotels, mostly located around different things to do in Tokyo and its surrounding neighborhoods, where space is tight and room prices remain high.
A brilliant option for travelers exploring the country on a shoestring budget, these hotels tend to have individual rooms as well as larger communal spaces. Some have spas, restaurants, and balconies while others are a little more on the basic side. Either way, they all deliver the main thing: a good sleep each night before you head out to explore more of the country and culture the following day.
The Millennials Shibuya
The Millennials in Shibuya takes the notion of a traditional capsule hotel and converts it into something far more modern, yet still available at a budget-friendly price. This trendy Japanese hotel calls itself “the edge of the future” and comes with everything you need for a comfortable, functional stay in a walkable neighborhood. Sure, the pods themselves might be small. But throughout the rest of the hotel, you’ll find large, spacious communal areas with everything from working booths and lengthy tables to oversized sofas and unusual lighting. The Millennials also comes with other perks, too, like free beer every day during the daily happy hour, free breakfast, and free coffee on a 24-hour basis. Its young-person culture ensures you’ll almost definitely make friends while you’re here.
Book and Bed Tokyo
Book and Bed Tokyo is undoubtedly one of Japan’s coolest hotels. As its name suggests, there’s an ongoing book theme throughout this hotel, with each capsule separated by a bookshelf and extra books dotted all around. Fusing together a hostel-like vibe with everything traditional capsule hotels are known for, Book and Bed is located in Shinjuku – Tokyo’s entertainment district – and comes with a bar, a lounge, a snack bar, and deli, and a coffee shop/cafe. You’ll never get hungry or bored while staying here. Want the look of Book and Bed, but fancy a bit more space? Along with the capsules, there are also standard size bedrooms. Sure they come at a higher cost than booking just a pod, but they also come with that little extra space you may be missing.
do-c Ebisu is based in the heart of Tokyo, which means adventures are never too far away and you’re only ever a few steps from collapsing into bed at the end of each day exploring here. This capsule hotel comes with all of the essentials and a little more, including free WIFI throughout. Each compact room comes with free towels and even free pajamas, making it a great option for a budget-friendly stay when you’re looking to travel light. But the best thing about do-c Ebisu is its free spa, with a Finnish-style ‘loyly’ sauna and showers that you’re free to use as much as you like throughout your stay. Shibuya Center Town is only a 20-minute walk from the capsule hotel, so you’re always close to the action.
nine hours Akasaka sleep lab
You’ll spot Nine Hours Akasaka sleep lab long before you’ve reached its front doors thanks to its unique architecture and blocky design. As its name suggests, this capsule hotel is designed purely for sleeping in but, rest assured, you’ll always get a good night’s sleep here. As one of the most popular capsule hotels in Tokyo, it’s well designed for tourists and compresses a lot of amenities into a small space. Each room comes with air conditioning and you can enjoy a free continental breakfast each morning. Rooms have a shared bathroom with a shower, slippers, and a hairdryer and you can even select a pod with a sleep report you receive in the morning. The hotel is also close to popular attractions like Okamura Chair Museum, Sanpun-zaka Monument, and Tokyu Plaza Akasaka.
Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya
Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya is a female-only capsule hotel, making it great for solo travelers or those looking for a little safety reassurance overnight. This may be a capsule hotel but it’s a little larger than your average with air conditioning and a wardrobe in each pod. There’s also a communal hot tub if you’re looking to relax at the hotel without feeling squashed up inside your own individual pod. Check into Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya if you’re looking to stay close to the center without paying a fortune as you’re within easy-to-reach top attractions in Japan like Shibuya Mark City, Nabeshima Shoto Park, and Kamimeguro Hikawa Shrine. Japanese slippers, yukata pajamas, and a gift bag of amenities are just some of the extra touches you’ll receive while staying here.
First Cabin Shinbashi Atagoyama
First Cabin Shinbashi Atagoyama calls itself a capsule hotel, but its rooms would probably be better described as “smaller than a hotel but bigger than a capsule” if you were to recommend it to a friend. The bonus? Its price tag is closer to the capsule hotel end of the spectrum while its amenities are more similar to a traditional hotel. If you’re visiting this region of Tokyo, it’s a great spot to set up camp while you’re there. First Cabin is just a five-minute walk from Onarimon Station on the Mita Line, so you’re centrally located for exploring during the daytime. Each capsule comes with its standard bed along with a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, free toiletries, and a towel. Outside of the pods, you’ll find a lounge, an on-site cafe and bar, a public bath, and shower booths.
Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Akihabara
Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Akihabara is a men-only capsule hotel, which is something to keep in mind if you’re planning a visit. Based within 100 yards of Nikkei Hall and 200 yards of Yamada Denki LABI Akihabara, it’s hard to beat this budget-friendly spot if you’re looking for somewhere comfortable to crash for a night and want to save a few dollars at the same time. While it’s functional, it still includes everything you need for a good night’s sleep like comfortable beds, AC, individual TVs, free WiFi, and a hairdryer. Outside, there’s a shared bathroom and a spacious communal area for reconvening with your friends in the morning to plan your next day of unique adventures in Japan together.
Ueno Station Hostel Oriental 1
Ueno Station hits the midpoint between a capsule hotel and a hostel, providing a backpacker-friendly spot with individual pods in shared bedrooms that are ideal for anyone traveling on a budget. Set just a five-minute walk from JR Ueno Station and a three-minute walk from JR Okachimachi Station, you’re within easy access to exploring wider Tokyo without having to travel far. This artistic hotel is also handily only a 10-minute walk to Ueno Park where you can visit Ueno Zoo, Tokyo National Museum, and the National Museum of Western Art. At the hostel, you’ll find free property-wide WiFi and hot tubs to use during your stay. There are no cooking facilities here other than a microwave but you’re free to bring your own food – saving a little extra money along the way.
Manga Art Hotel
Manga Art Hotel might just be Japan’s coolest hotel, even if it is on the smaller size. While many capsule hotels in this country may keep things neutral with the decor, Manga Art Hotel goes all out with manga comics on almost every surface. This seriously popular capsule hotel squeezes a lot of information into a small space and is a must-visit for manga fans all over the world. The entire hotel has a futuristic theme with dark metal panels and neon lighting throughout. Each pod comes with a widely-approved comfy bed, slippers, pajamas, and an electrical outlet. You’re also surrounded by manga comics if you’re looking to kick back with a new read after a long day of exploring the city. This one-of-a-kind stay is Japanese culture at its best.
The Global Hotel Tokyo
The Global Hotel comes with a range of different pods depending on your ideal comfort levels. If you’re looking for just the basics, you’ll get a cozy bed, free WiFi, free ear plugs, and well-stocked bathrooms. If you’re looking for a little more, you can stay in a capsule with its own TV. But the best part about this capsule hotel is its great location, situated in the Shinjuku Ward district with plenty of the city’s best sights within easy walking distance. The pods here are also renowned for being on the larger side, which means you’re free to spread out each night without feeling cramped. If you do find yourself needing a little more air, head upstairs to the rooftop garden that promises beautiful skyline views of the city.
Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel
If you’re someone who struggles with waking up on time – accentuated by the lack of natural light in a lot of capsule hotels – you’ll love Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel. Perfectly located right in the center of Tokyo, this capsule hotel has a private TV and alarm clock in every room. The unique capsule rooms at Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel are placed side-by-side in the large common area with communal bathrooms and toilets just nearby. There’s free WiFi throughout the hotel and a sauna to enjoy during your stay. The nature of these small pods also means they’re freshly cleaned daily, so you’ll always come back to fresh sheets if you’re checking in for more than one night. Better yet, some of the capsules are split into individual male and female rooms.
Spa & Capsule Hotel Grandpark Inn Kitasenju
“Spa & Capsule Hotel” may not be two words you’d traditionally associate in one place but that’s exactly what you’ll find at this capsule hotel: Grandpark Inn Kitasenju. Each pod here comes with unusual lighting, adding a futuristic touch to this hotel that you’ll remember long after you’ve checked out. As well as the individual capsules, you’ll find a bar, a restaurant, a sauna, and a public bath at the property. There’s also the relaxation room which features sofas, Japanese comics, and internet PCs to keep you entertained. Traveling light? You’ll be provided with toiletries like a toothbrush, razor and other hair products free of charge when you check-in. When you’re ready to move on the next day, you’re only a two-minute walk away from the nearest station.