Back to basics: Japan’s best capsule hotels

Japan is the queen of kitsch, and it doesn’t get much more kitsch than staying in a capsule hotel, known locally as Kapuseru Hoteru カプセルホテル.

So what is a capsule hotel? Basically, it’s less of a hotel room, and more of a single bed in its own pod – think futuristic space travel-inspired sleeping quarters. Kapuseru Hoteru’s are perfect for the no-fuss traveller, budget conscious or those who want to try something a little different.

We’ve rounded up a bunch of our favourite capsule hotels in Japan, along with a couple of guidelines to help you make the most out of your stay.

Capsule hotel etiquette

Before you go, take into consideration that this isn’t an ordinary hotel stay. There are a few simple rules that you will need to follow to have a comfortable stay at some of Japan’s best capsule hotels.

A capsule hotel to reset the mind


Nine Hours Kyoto is based around the principle of resetting your mind overnight in three simple steps: 1 hour to bathe, 7 hours to sleep and 1 hour to wake and dress.

Don’t fret, you won’t lack comfort staying at a capsule hotel. Each capsule is fitted with quality bedding and the light-based alarm clocks are a novel way to greet the new day. If you need to google the best ramen spot nearby, you can use the computer station or stay connected from the comfort of your capsule with free high-speed Wi-Fi.

Exploration is made easy, also. Leave your luggage at reception and rent a bike from reception to explore Kyoto on two wheels. Kodai-ji Temple and Yasaka Shrine are an easy ride away or just 20 minutes by foot.

Nine Hours Kyoto

8.4 Very good (69 reviews)

Male-only capsule hotel


The original ‘Capsule Inn’, Capsule Inn Osaka opened in 1979 and was the first of its kind in the world, designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa. A budget-friendly accommodation option, the Inn is a male-only hotel located in the heart of the business district of Osaka.

Aside from the comfy sleep you’re bound to have, guests have access to television and massage rooms, lounges and if they need to freshen up their look, they can pop into the on-site hair salon. If you are craving a meal, purchase one of the dining plans to dine-in.

Capsule Inn Osaka (Male Only)

7.4(351 reviews)

Capsule hotel in the heart of Tokyo


Located right in the heart of Tokyo in the infamous Shinjuku district, guests can literally step out of the front door of Shinjuku Kuyakushomae and be amongst some of Tokyo’s best restaurants, bars and of course karaoke. Perfect for belting out some Kylie before retiring to your capsule.

Guests can enjoy a comfy night sleep in one of the compact beds that feature a private TV and alarm clock. And after a long day of exploring, take some time to relax your muscles in the on-site onsen (hot spring bathhouse) or spend some time chilling in the guest lounge.

Guest lounges cater to both the business-minded with Internet access terminals, but also those who tend to have the munchies with snacks and evening meals made available at selected times.

Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel

7.7 Good (2160 reviews)

Capsule hotel with sauna


This male and female capsule hotel offers comfortable accommodation for travellers to Tokyo. Aside from the typical capsule sleeping arrangements, guests will have access to the internet in some rooms, whirlpool bathtub and air conditioning.

Relaxation isn’t off the agenda entirely at a capsule hotel, this property offers a rock sauna, as well as hot and cold baths. After you’ve refreshed, relax with a beer from the vending machine before heading to bed.

Capsule Inn Kinshicho

7.4(327 reviews)

Tokyo capsule hotel near Tsuta Ramen


The centrally-located Sauna & Capsule Clear Inn Sugamo is just minutes from Michelin star ramen restaurant Tsuta Ramen. The property has 118 guest rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi access, a TV and even a writing desk. Who says capsule accommodation needs to be cramped!

You will have all the regular hygienic amenities you would usually find in a regular hotel such as a hairdryer, terry bathrobes and bath sheets. If you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, guests can have breakfast in the restaurant.


Hotel Sauna & Capsule Clear Inn Sugamo


Capsule hotel with early check-in


There’s nothing worse than stepping off a long haul flight in the morning only to find out you can’t check into your hotel until the afternoon. An early 10 a.m check in at Capsule Value Kanda solves this problem, leaving you to get all the shut-eye you need.

With 100 rooms, this capsule hotel caters to males-only and its capsules are clean and bright with wood trims with convenient ladders and is directly connected to the JR/Tokyo Metro Station.

Capsule Value Kanda

8.4 Very good (51 reviews)

Capsule hotel perfect for tall people


This is the capsule hotel for basketball players and tall people that can’t play basketball. Capsule and Sauna Oriental offers male-only capsules in the Tokyo district of Ueno. Those who need a little extra room, book a Superior capsule for an extra fee.

Guests can make use of a shared TV lounge and spa services such as a massage room, sauna and hot tub, and if you get the munchies late at night, make use of on-site vending machines.

Ueno Station Hostel Oriental 1 Male Only

8.0 Very good (1016 reviews)