Visiting the dazzling, dynamic Tokyo is a multisensory experience. The capital of Japan is famous for its striking skyline, pop culture, historic attractions, and gardens blossoming with cherry blossom trees. Tokyo is also known for its capsule hotels, which is a concept that developed in Japan but is now found everywhere. The unique accommodation originally started out as cheap places to crash. Besides, they were popular with budget-conscious travelers or people who’d missed their last train home. Over the years, Tokyo’s capsule hotels have transformed into trendy places to stay for everyone, thus revolutionizing Japan’s small-hotel industry.
So, what are capsule, or pod hotels exactly? Basically, they’re a cluster of snug sleeping spaces or “capsules” with basic amenities. Earlier, they’d include a bed, a light, an alarm clock, and maybe a TV. Also, they usually feature just a curtain or a shutter for privacy. Now, these pods have been completely overhauled and feature a whole lot of high-tech features. Additionally, the hotels have a slew of amenities like spa or sauna, on-site restaurants, bars, and common rooms. While bathrooms are communal, they feature modern bathing comforts. However, there are a few norms that travelers need to follow, including placing their shoes in a locker and locking away their luggage. Don’t fret, as the hotel lends you slippers, and some even lend guests traditional Japanese yukata robes.
To be honest, capsule hotels are somewhat of an icon in Japan, and staying in one will definitely enhance your Tokyo experience. So, here are the 11 best capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan.
Where to stay in Tokyo
Usually, capsule hotels are built near train stations and airports to cater to travelers on the move. Even today, most of Tokyo’s most popular pod hotels and best hotels in Tokyo lie within stone’s throw of its train transport hubs and stations like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and more. All capsule hotels on this list are similarly located near subway/train stations that make traveling around and exploring the city easy.
When it comes to looking for hotels, the areas around the transport hubs of Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Tokyo Station are excellent. Apart from excellent entertainment and dining options, these areas are also close to most attractions and sights in the city.
The Millennials Shibuya Capsule Hotel
To say that The Millennials Shibuya is the best of all capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan is an understatement. The popular accommodation lies a mere five-minute walk from Shibuya Station.
The hotel builds a “flashpacking” lifestyle with its cool tech and sleek design features. It features “Smart Pods” that are not only taller but also more spacious than regular capsule hotels. What makes the hotel “smart” is that guests are given iPad Touch that controls everything from reclining the beds, accessing video projectors, and even entering the hotel after hours. For a truly indulgent experience, ask for the Art Pods which features design touches by local artists. Also, other pod highlights include smart TVs and lockboxes beneath the beds.
Moreover, the capsule hotel is big on socializing, as is evident in its many communal facilities. The shared kitchen and fridge are well-stocked with supplies enough to make quick meals. Additionally, one can swap travel stories with fellow travelers in the lounge, or quickly check on work e-mails in the fancy co-working space.
Nine Hours Narita Airport
Nine Hours is a brand that doesn’t need any introduction in Japan, and Nine Hours Narita Airport is one of the original and best Nine Hours capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan. The original concept of nine hours is that travelers need three basic necessities for staying overnight – shower (1 hour), sleep (7 hours), and get ready the next day (1 hour). This totals to nine hours! However, that idea is an urban legend now and now capsule hotels have their own check-in/check-out times.
It suffices to say that this 24-hour capsule hotel right next to Terminal 2 of the far-flung Narita Airport is a blessing for those arriving late or catching early flights. The stylish, clean, and affordable hotel is very accommodating and even features hourly rates, depending on how long you actually need to rest. In fact, the hotel can even accommodate those that simply need a shower and a place to wait. Also, with Terminal 2’s shower rooms closing in 2014, Nine Hours is the only place where travelers can take a shower!
Upon check-in, travelers are given bathing amenities as well as sleep clothes, which is a sort of tradition in Japan. Also, the pod has a soft mattress and pillow so travelers can get some much-needed sleep before hopping onto their flight.
First Cabin Tsukiji
Capsule hotels by themselves are very cool, but one with a flight theme is all the more special. Welcome aboard the First Cabin Tsukiji, which is a high-tech, impressive capsule hotel that lies not more than a minute away from Tsukiji station in the heart of the Chuo ward. Instead of capsules, it offers excellent ‘airplane cabins’ that have high ceilings and are more spacious than regular pod hotels. One can choose between ‘first-class’ and business cabins, of which the former is more spacious. Nevertheless, both kinds of cabins come with free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, safety deposit box, robes, and slippers. What’s more, it even has other essentials like ‘cabin wear’ that can be rented, and the staff here is also dressed as cabin crew.
The Tsukiji hotel is one of First Cabin’s newer locations and has an on-site cafe-bar at the entrance that offers breakfast. Additionally, it also serves light meals during the day as well as drinks at night. The hotel guests can also enjoy a 24-hour gender-separated bathing area and laundry services. Finally, there’s even a large hot tub that helps people unwind and relax.
Capsule Hotel Zen Tokyo
Experience the eponymous “zen” culture at the tearoom-inspired capsule Hotel Zen Tokyo. The relatively newer capsule hotel lies right outside the Ningyocho subway station.
The capsule hotel is an excellent affordable base to experience a unique living concept amidst Japanese culture. The hotel is inspired by Sen No Rikyu’s 16th-century teahouse. Keeping in mind the concept, their decor features everything from Japanese-style paintings to wooden details. Every sleeping pod features a minimalistic design with a calming Japanese painting adorning the white walls. Moreover, the pods are high-ceilinged, which is more than the space one gets in other regular capsule hotels. Additionally, one can choose a deluxe pod with semi-double beds for extra legroom.
Apart from the great pods, the capsule hotel also has a bar lounge serving a range of interesting drinks from whiskey to Japanese sake. Furthermore, there’s also a quiet study lounge for those who want a quiet place to get work done, read, or simply unwind.
Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya
Tokyo is one of The 17 Safest Cities In The World, so solo women travelers to the city can go exploring without worry. That said, Tokyo’s capsule hotels further this very thought and even have women-only choices. The Nadeshiko Hotel in Shibuya is one such females-only capsule hotel that blends traditional Japanese aesthetics with comfortable spaces to create a unique experience.
Capsules at Nadeshiko hotel are roomy and feature a comfortable mattress and pillow. The common areas and hallways feature traditional Japanese designs. The communal bathing area is not only spacious but also features lovely cypress wood tubs for unwinding. A tatami common room has a great relaxing atmosphere to catch up on work or strike conversations with fellow travelers. There’s even a powder room which is a great place for getting dressed up every day. What’s more, the hotel even allows guests to borrow the traditional Japanese Yukata robes as well as personal care amneities. For a completely fulfilling experience, we suggest getting the kimono experience packages, where you can dress up and dig into tasty traditional Japanese dinners at the on-site restaurant.
Finally, Nadeshiko Hotel also enjoys a great location which is just 10 minutes from both Shibuya and Shinsen stations.
Nihombashi Muromachi Bay Hotel
Right in the very center of Tokyo, the Nihombashi Muromachi Bay Hotel is an excellent choice for a capsule hotel. It lies within walking distance of the transport hub that is Tokyo Station, as well as the Mitsukoshimae subway station and Shin-Nihonbashi train station. So, it is a great base for travelers to enjoy exploring the Top 11 Things To Do In Tokyo.
Capsules at this hotel are spacious enough and feature comfy mattresses, free Wi-Fi, lights, alarm clocks, USB, and power outlets. In fact, some capsules even have small TVs. What’s more, every guest gets a high-tech wristband key for accessing their capsules. Also, every person who stays here also gets personal care amneities, loungewear, and slippers of their own. Women have two entire floors reserved for them, adding to the security and safety factor.
The hotel itself has lots of amneities for the comfort of the travelers. Each floor has shared but immaculate bathrooms. Plus, there’s a laundromat, kettle and microwave, and a large communal lounge for working and dining.
Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Ogikubo (Male Only)
Originally, it was men who majorly used pod/capsule hotels, and even now, there are male-only options as well. One of the best capsule hotels in Tokyo, Japan is the Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Ogikubo. The hotel lies a stone’s throw from JR Ogikubi Station.
The design and amenities at this capsule hotel make it feel more like a relaxing and unwinding spa for men. Visitors have the option of sleek yet comfortable pod rooms with plush Simmons mattresses, flatscreen TVs, alarm clocks, reading lights, and even a cool pair of headphones!
Apart from stylish pods, the hotel features a laundry list of amazing common amenities. One of them is a fabulous on-site lounge that not only has a free drink vending machine but also massage chairs. The hot spring bath is a wonderful spot on the property to unwind and relax. Apart from an all-day dining restaurant, the capsule hotel also serves a complimentary Japanese-style curry buffet breakfast. Finally, its fantastic on-site bar makes for the perfect drinking hole to wind up a long day in Tokyo.
Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku
Book and Bed capsule hotel is unarguably one of Tokyo’s best accommodations for book lovers! This reader haven is not a hotel with books, but rather a massive library with sleeping spaces amidst them.
Books cover almost every discernible surface of this unusual yet popular capsule hotel. The place is actually a part hostel and part library, and one can choose to sleep in the many small, cozy capsules behind the bookshelves lined with privacy curtains. One can choose between Compact and Standard capsules, of which the latter is more spacious. The pods also feature soft slippers and reading lights. The book collection has both Japanese and English books across a range of genres that include novels, classics, and even photography books. Outside the pods, the place features daybed-like sofas that make for a great lounging space.
Apart from the great sleeping arrangements, the hotels have clean communal bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. What’s more, people can bring in their own food and beverages, while the hotel has a coffee machine, toaster, and drinks vending machine on-site. To top that, the hotel lies right outside the Shinjuku station in one of Toko’s most popular neighborhoods.
Shinjuku Kuyakusho-Mae Capsule Hotel
Travelers looking for something a little more opulence than the average capsule hotel will love Shinjuku Kuyakusho-Mae Capsule Hotel. The hotel’s location is excellent as it lies within walking distance of the eastern exit of the Shinjuku Station.
The hotel features generously-sized capsules and each one has a plush mattress and its own TV. Additionally, there’s an entire floor of capsules exclusively for women, which also has a separate powder room for them to get dressed in the morning. What’s more, both genders have 24-hour comfy bathing areas complete with saunas, which is an excellent space for relaxing.
When it comes to other amneities, the hotel has a fabulous on-site restaurant that serves excellent Japanese breakfasts and dinners. Plus, travelers who plan to stay longer will find the coin-operated laundries particularly useful.
Tokyo Ginza Bay Hotel
The Tokyo Ginza Bay Hotel is a wonderful capsule hotel with an equally fantastic location close to Shimbashi transport hub, as well as Shiodome, Tsukijishijo, and Higashi-Ginza stations. Furthermore, it also lies close to major sightseeing spots like Kokyo Gaien National Gardens and even Tokyo Disneyland.
This capsule hotel features separate floors for capsules for men and women. All capsule pods feature comfy mattresses, USB ports, reading lights, and dark privacy curtains. The hotel even provides towels, loungewear, and complimentary toiletries to all visitors. When it comes to the hotel, it is beautifully decorated in Japanese art. Getting dressed in the morning is a quick process due to the immaculate shared bathrooms. A shared lounge with comfortable furniture is a great place to get work done or catch up with fellow travelers’ stories. A convenience store on the ground floor is great for quickly grabbing food and drinks, and there’s even an on-site vending machine in the hotel.
Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Premier Tokyo Shinjuku Station
Are you looking for a five-star luxury capsule hotel in Tokyo? Then the men-only Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Premier Tokyo at Shinjuku Station sits right at the top of the list.
This upscale, tropical retreat-inspired luxury capsule hotel brings Bali to the streets of Tokyo. The hotel imports a majority of its furniture directly from the island to create a luxurious and inviting ambiance. When guests come in, they are given a complimentary cup of green tea before being given plush yukata robes and slippers. The hotel features a bevy of Japanese-style amneities in the form of a sauna and a huge jet onsen bath, making staying here equally comfortable and relaxing. Moreover, it also has spotlessly clean shared bathing facilities, massage chairs in the lounge, and even clothing shop and laundry facilities.
The capsules or pods are stacked in two rows. They all feature fluffy mattresses, flatscreen TVs, and tablet PCs, and are spacious to boot.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Tokyo:
- Ebisu Local Food Tour: Go on a yummy 2.5-hour food tour in the bustling neighborhood of Ebisu which is known for its profusion of local izakayas (traditional Japanese inns).
- Hinatomaru: This stand-and-eat sushi bar serves amazing and inexpensive sushi throughout the day.
Recommended Activities In Tokyo:
- Tokyo Open-Top Sightseeing Bus Tour with Audio Guide: Climb aboard an open-top sightseeing bus and tour Tokyo’s best sights in 70 minutes.
- Tokyo – 5-Hour Historical Cycling Tour: Join a local guide to explore the best sights of Japan’s capital on a fun-filled cycling tour, that also includes a stop for lunch.