April 22, 2014

Staying in a Capsule Hotel in Tokyo

*edited title because someone corrected my English :(

Japan is famous for its capsule hotels, mainly catering to males who needed a few hours to lay their head. We made a mistake of not booking our accommodation in Tokyo until it was too late - which pretty much led to an adventure of a lifetime. Rockstar and I had to spend 2 whole nights in a capsule hotel. For me  it was a pretty exciting thing. I mean, what more could be worst after we had spend a night in a comic book cafe the previous trip. 

Rows of bunk beds at the female floor. 

The room was separated in male and female with about a dozen 'coffin' like bunk beds lining from one end till the other end of the room. All you get is a somewhat spacious bunk with towels, blanket, pyjamas, bathroom slippers and a narrow cupboard. Everything was pretty clean and neat. You shuffle in and out of your narrow space, minding your own business and everyone is just looking to get some decent sleep. It's not the best place but I have slept in worst condition. 

Narrow space between my bunk bed and cabinet. 

Bathrooms were another matter. My first time was met with just a sole companion *thank God* sitting on a stool, facing the wall. All I could see were her bare shoulders and back amidst the steam rising from the hot water. Lost in her own thoughts, she wasn't aware while I explore the rest of the bathroom, trying to figure how this communal bath thing works. She was still facing the wall when I stripped butt naked and half ran over to the opposite wall. Water was hot and so soothing. I waited till she left before I pulled myself away from the wall. The cool air half dried me as I walk to the locker area for my towel. Phew... Thank God no one was around.

Many bare butts later, I consider myself a pro. Communal bathrooms... pfft, no biggie...

Upper part of my bunk bed. Pillow, a reading lamp, and a clock. 

Here are some tips for those who are planning to stay in a capsule hotel :

1. Most capsule hotels only cater to male. If you are a female, please check carefully if they do have accommodations for female. 
2. Only 1 communal bathroom. There are different time slots for male and female usage. Please check and adhere to that timing. You do not want to be caught naked in there when it's not your slot. 
3. Communal bathrooms have lockers. You strip, put your clothes and towel into the locker and walk to the shower area. Do not attempt to bring your towel. There will be no space to hang or place them without them getting all wet. 
4. Some capsule hotel do have somewhat private shower rooms which are also unisex. So if you are reluctant to bath in public, do check if they have private ones. 
5. Everything is provided - toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, moisturiser, toner, hair gel, etc, Use them, and them place them back in either the 'used' container or at their original place. 
6. DO NOT ever wear the bathroom slippers to anywhere other that the bathrooms.
7. Do not make too much noise. You will risk disturbing other guests. Good luck trying to win an argument in a language that you won't understand :)
8. Capsule hotels are close from 10am-6pm. If you plan on staying a few nights, you can leave your baggage at the reception.  

I think that's all I can think of now. Will add on later if I have any other tip. 

The lower part of my bunk bed. It was long enough for me to stash my suitcase. Blanket at the bottom, pyjamas in blue and brown towels on top. 

So yup, that's my experience staying in a capsule hotel. It wasn't too bad. Everything was clean. And if you need some privacy, just draw the curtains. Rockstar didn't enjoy it one bit. But you know what, I kinda of like it. I can now say that I have experience a capsule hotel in Japan. :)

No comments: