Future Tech Capsule Hotel, Tokyo

I keep saying it, but I really feel it’s true. Japan is the future, man. In so many ways, this country has propelled itself into the technological future of your dreams. Think automated everything.

Synonymous with technology is the obsession of making things smaller, more portable, more efficient. The same is true with hotel accomodation in Japan – an improvement (in my opinion) on the concept of the hostel and backpacker’s dormitory, the capsule hotel, Tokyo, is the best use of space in a place of where there is very little.

So in a last minute decision to stay near the airport the night before my flight, I found a cool Capsule hotel located right inside the terminal. Getting to Narita is another story, but once you step off the train, you walk maybe 200-300 metres and you arrive at the hotel. The next morning, you’ll be within 5-7 minutes walk to the airport checkin desks. Seriously, great idea for early morning flights.

What’s a capsule hotel exactly? It is what is implies, much like a dormitory has bunk beds, the capsules are built into the wall and within the compressed space many beds can be accommodated.

In my hotel, 9 hours, the males were separated from the females. Smart move. Each wing could accommodate 70 capsules. In a normal hostel, you might fit 15 bus in the same space. How’s that for efficiency?

You’re given a care package, including a bath towel, a face towel, slippers and pyjamas and a tooth brush.

Because the capsules can really only accommodate one person comfortably (king single sized bed), luggage is kept in the locker room. Here it is.

The toilets are individual cubicles, with western style commode and Japanese bidet. There’s a button for washing, drying and even a nature sound function so you can be discreet with your farts.

In the shower room, each cubicle is individual, so there’s no public showering (unlike in an onsen). Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided. The hot water is adjustable and the pressure is excellent.

Inside the sleeping quarters, you must be quiet. There are guests who arrive at different times and will leave at different times, depending on their flights. So respect the silence in here, once you’re in your capsule you can plug in your earphones and do whatever you want. The hall is darkened, but the light from empty capsules should be enough to guide you to your place.

For a while, I was hating on that snorer. Turns out it was the ambient sounds set to ocean waves.

The capsule itself is really quite comfortable. The pillow is soft, yet firm. The blanket is fluffy and cuddly. The light can be dimmed and there’s a privacy shutter that can be drawn (though most people do not draw the shutter for some reason).

When I went into my capsule, I could hear something that sounded like someone’s irregular heavy breathing and I though ‘great, I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.’ For a while, I was hating on that snorer. Then I worked out that there was a knob on the panel for background music – it was set to ambient ocean waves. The snoring was the irregular crashing of waves on the shore, hahahaha! I turned that off quickly.

For food, you’re better off buying something in the terminal. But remember that the terminal food outlets close at 9PM. The closest to the hotel are located at the station level, Doutor and a convenience store, these should suffice.


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