Situation of stay in Major Cities;
According to the Japanese government tourist office, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has steadily increased and recorded the largest number of 2,682,000 in July. That’s why depending on season, it is very difficult to find the place to stay…especially in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka which are close to major Airport in Japan. In addition, beginning of May called Golden week, Middle of August as Obon vacation and New year (O-shogatsu) season are periods when we should stay hotel with higher price and it is difficult to book hotels.
Furthermore, from end of March to beginning of April is also difficult in terms of booking places to stay. Fiscal year end is March for most of companies and schools in Japan, and in April, people are moving and staying hotel until people find apartment or home. As new employees, they should go head office of company to take company’s training. During training for a couple weeks, they must stay at hotel. There are many companies to have their head office in major cities, so it would be very busy time for hotels to accept many of new business people in April.
As a business person, it is crucial to travel and stay in Tokyo with these business reasons. If it could happen during busy time as described above, we always have to stay hotel with very expensive fee and uncomfortable room.
What is Capsule Hotel?
“Capsule Hotel” would be good solution to stay in major cities with reasonable price, where we can stay from 2,000 yen per night. Capsule Hotel has been used among business people who missed last train to go home and need to sleep by next morning. It actually is a popular accommodation for people who want to lower accommodation expenses with facilities such as sauna and public bath. Also, we can stay as a walk-in client (we can also make a reservation, too). To know more about this cheap and comfy places to stay, there are 3 points to be checked, for people who are anxious about staying at such hotel.
Secure? Comfortable? Privacy?
4 steps to use Capsule Hotel;
(1) Check In at reception. Receive the key for the locker (Safe)
(2) There are amenities, interior linen and towels in the locker or capsule, change to the indoor wear.
(3) Go to the public bath / shower room (Comfortable).
(4) Relax in a shared space or capsule (Privacy).
(5) Sleep in private capsule
Let me show you a little bit of history of Capsule Hotel. Capsule Hotels are kind of expansion of Japanese Public Bath. They provided service for just men at the beginning. According to Wikipedia, Capsule Hotel started in Osaka from 1979, that was the first one in Japan ever, and it was Japanese unique service that no other country in the world ever had. On the other hands, demand of women had not yet been there at that time.
However, Capsule hotels has been growing recently and there are more Capsule Hotel where women can comfortably stay and enjoy. It is also getting even more popular among overseas travelers, and the number of facilities have been increasing year by year.
Capsule Hotel in Airport
It is good to know some airports have Capsule Hotel, if you should get a flight in early morning or your flight arrive late, there is no public transportation service. Then you should stay at airport overnight. 9H (Nine Hours) Narita newly has started to provide service in Narita Airport.
A couple of others Capsule Hotels are available at different airports.
You can book rooms in Capsule Hotel thru Expedia, Booking.com or anything similar, so that you can make sure what amenities, facilities and services hotel has, including price to stay. Some hotels have very good breakfast like this.
Although it is a capsule hotel where guests can easily stay at the walk-in, it is often the case that the booking is cheaper by far. Approximately 500 yen ~ 1,000 yen difference if there is a reservation in advance !
There may be some people who say, “Everything is cheap in there anyways!”. I disagree with that because there is a possibility of surprising expenses depending on facilities and amenity. For example, towels, clothes in the hall and toothbrushes are basically equipped with any facilities, but if there is no cosmetic products at all, they must be purchased at convenience stores etc. If there is no outlet for charging you cannot use a charge service. Besides, there is a possibility that a large luggage such as a suitcase may be charged, there may be a positive expense for accommodation expenses. Amenities and services are confirmed before booking and staying, including breakfast!
Like I mentioned above, Capsule Hotel is a unique place where you can make your travel much nicer with experiences you’ve never had!