Japan's Capsule Hotels
|This particular Capsule Hotel is located near Kabukicho (red light district) in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. It allows only men. It cost Y3,800 for the "room" and bath. Massages are available for an additional Y3,300 for 40 minutes. It's on the 6th floor of a building and is called Big Lemon. It's open 24 hours and you can leave and come back as you wish.|
They speak a little English and foreigners are welcome. You can store your luggage behind the counter. You pay at a vending machine and hand the ticket to the clerk. They give you a capsule number and locker key and wrist band. When you are in for the night, you change in the locker room and wear the small yukata around the facility. Upstairs is a shower and sento bath. There is a restaurant and small bar as well. Beside that is a TV room with several lazy boy chairs. Technically you could pay only Y1,200 for the sento and sleep in the lazy boy chairs as many people were doing.
Since most visitors to a Capsule hotel are Japanese business men who don't have time to go home, there are amenities there for people who didn't plan on staying away from home. You can shave, brush your teeth, take a bath, buy shirts, pants, belts, ties, undershirts. Not sure if there is overnight dry-cleaning, but I wouldn't doubt it. Check out was around 9 and starting at 7am they made public announcements reminding people to get up and get out. There were about 150 capsules in this facility. Some have 600+ in Shinjuku.
There are many buttons and knobs in the capsule. One turns on the light and a knob dims the light. One turns on the TV, another button flips through the channels. There is a big red button that costs Y300 to press. That's the porn button. There is a radio and an alarm clock built in. At the end of the capsule there is a screen you can pull down to "lock" yourself in. The entire capsule was about 6 to 6.5 feet long. I am 6 foot 3ish and I had to lie diagonally, but I was able to sleep. The building was slightly warmer than I prefer. I wish there were individual heaters/coolers in each capsule.
Yet another inside view of the capsule.
Most capsules are stacked two up in columns of about 8-10.
A thin screen can be pulled down for privacy, unless your feet stick out like mine do.
The Capsule Control Panel. You can control lights, TV, A/C, Alarm Clock, and do your taxes.
Dr. Blewitt in the Cube
Not really watching TV, just for the added affect.
The screens that come down for semi-privacy.
I didn't take this, but it's a better picture of how they are set up.
It actually gets pretty dark inside.
Buttons on the left control and set the alarm clock.
Left switch turns on the TV. Right turns on the light. Knob is dimmer.
Bottom knob is volume, black button beside it changes the channel.
Small little TV at your feet, I think Ocean's 11 played once in English.
These last few are taken from my trip on a Japanese Ferry from Sapporo to Sendai.
Really easy to get to, East Exit from Shinjuku station, then cross at the cross walk
and walk down the big sidewalk. There will be a small 3 story McDonald's on your
left and then you'll come to a big road, apparently named Yasukuni Street. Cross it
and the big red box is called Don Quixote, which is like a mini Wal-Mart. Go past it
until you see another bigger McDonald's on the right. The Big Lemon Capsule Hotel
is above that, you should be able to see the sign. The door is down the alley to the
right of McDonald's. Take the elevator to the 7th floor, it's clearly marked. Enjoy !!
The only bad thing about this one is it is right on the edge of Kabukicho, which is the
adult area of Tokyo. This may or may not be a good thing for you, but I find the vendors
somewhat pushy and annoying. Other than that it's a great capsule hotel, very clean.