Capsule Hotels

Japanese capsule hotels, designed for short-term stays, offer little more than a bed. If you’re looking for comfort and space, you’ve come to the wrong place. The target market for the hotels are businessmen who can’t get home. Some amenities, such as vending machines, lockers, and communal bathrooms, are available. Capsule hotels are extremely economical.

A small bed (maybe about six feet in length) fills the capsule. Though is generally sufficient room to sit up and read, this is not a good choice for the claustrophobic. There may be space for a few personal items, but the shelves are shallow, so don’t count on storing things much bigger than your iPod and cell phone. Many capsules have televisions, which can include adult pay channels. Capsules are stacked, reminiscent of bunk beds, and offer screens for privacy.

Many hotels have rules regarding guests (men and women are often in separate areas, if women are allowed at all). Pictures help Western travelers understand the rules of the hotel. Do not expect a quiet’s night sleep, as sound insulation is minimal. Think drunk businessmen who have missed the last train home. Or women at a slumber party.