Capsule Hotel カプセルホテル in Japan: a unique travel experience - My experience
Japan is known for its unique and innovative culture, which is also reflected in the hospitality industry. One of the most interesting concepts is that of capsule hotels, an economical and functional solution for tourists that has gained more and more popularity in recent years.
カプセルホテル capsule hotels are small modular spaces, designed to provide an affordable yet comfortable accommodation experience. The capsules are private spaces equipped with a number of essential amenities, including a bed, an electrical outlet, a light, a television and a climate control unit.
Unlike a regular hotel, capsule hotels only offer space to sleep and rest, but their minimalistic and modern design makes them a popular choice among travelers looking for a unique travel experience.
The first capsule hotel opened in Osaka in 1979, but the concept has only gained popularity in the last decade. Today, capsule hotels are available across Japan and have become a popular choice for travelers of all types, from tourists to business travellers. The prices for one night vary according to the location and the quality of the services, but in general they are much cheaper than in traditional hotels.
There are also luxury capsule hotels, which offer additional services such as saunas, bars and restaurants, but most capsule hotels focus on the essentials, providing travelers with a comfortable and clean space to rest and relax.
In my opinion, the more modern ones have lost the style that distinguishes this type of hotel (I show you some images to better understand). The philosophy behind these small modules was to provide the necessary for those who missed trains, or were on a business trip and to allow them to sleep even just for one night without needing anything else.
Despite the capsules' small size, many of them offer a unique travel experience, with a modern, minimalist vibe that reflects contemporary Japanese design. Capsule hotels are also an ideal choice for travellers.
I can bring you my personal experience with it because I have used this solution 4 times. Both because arriving late from a transfer I didn't need much, other times because they were (and are) in any case advantageous solutions from an economic point of view (and for those with a tight budget it is an optimal solution).
The capsule hotels I've been to have been very comfortable, absolutely clean and certainly not noisy. In some hotels (which have a small extra cost) there are shared facilities, such as showers, refreshments, small relaxation corners (for reading, having a coffee, etc.). For many they are extra things (apart from the shower), but they help to overcome the first impact one has with such a structure.
And yes, because the first time it feels strange to sleep in this "rectangle", it seems cramped, uncomfortable and you make a virtue of necessity, but then you discover that the accommodation is pleasant, relaxing. I slept very well both as regards the "bed" arrangement and for the tranquility that distinguishes these places.
Have you ever tried them? let me know your impression, did you like them, would you recommend them?