Japan Adventures: Overnight in a Female Capsule Hotel in Tokyo

12:47 AM

Capsule hotels are primarily intended for those who missed the last train that it makes more sense to stay in the city for the night, rather than take an expensive cab home. Most capsule hotels are strictly for males, but in recent years, some of the hotels have started to accept female guests.


Tokyo Ariake Bay Hotel Capsule Hotel Female Floor. I was one of the first to check in so the floor was quite empty then.


To be honest, I was hesitant to try this at first. Several thoughts run through my mind. I’m not claustrophobic, but what if I suddenly become one? What if I get suffocated? What if there’s fire? My other option too was too spend overnight in an onsen.

But finally, my curiosity and appetite for adventure triumphed over my anxieties and I've decided to spend my last night in a ‘pod’, more popularly known as capsule hotel. After all, I’m not sure when will I be back in Tokyo or Japan, so this quirky and eccentric Japanese experience must be ticked off my bucket list, pronto!

Since I began my search quite late, exactly a week before my arrival in Tokyo, I didn’t have much choice left. Most capsule hotels left in booking sites only have vacancies for males and I was down to two choices.
1.      Capsule Inn Kinshicho (which is 5 minutes by train from Akihabara)
S$ 39 ¥3,090
2.      Tokyo Ariake Bay Hotel (which is 15 minutes away from Odaiba)
S$ 48 ¥3,800
I chose the latter. Although the price is slightly higher, it seems cleaner and newer based on photos and reviews. The area seemed appropriate to stay as well since my itinerary for my last night is to try an onsen. I had my eyes on Oedo Onsen Monogatari located in Odaiba (in a separate post)


FACILITIES
At the reception, I was asked for my passport and I was handed a locker key and a card. Since I booked online through Booking.com, I didn’t expect to shell out cash or bring out my card upon check-in. But Japan really is all about vendo machines, there’s a vending machine at the reception for you to pay by cash or card and only then will the locker key and card be activated. Checking in and checking out is straight forward. 
Like I said they vendo everything

It is encouraged to keep all belongings in the lockers, at the ground floor. If your luggage doesn’t fit the lockers, you can request to leave it at the reception for free and it will be tagged accordingly. The locker contains towel, robe, pants and slippers. It is best to change into these before heading up to your cabin.

From the main stairs, 3rd floor door leads to a very clean and well-lit shared powder room and toilet. On the other end is the entrance to the capsules.

The capsule didn’t have a door which I liked, but it has blinds to keep your privacy. It has 1 power outlet, and though I am not a television person, I appreciated that my pod has a TV! The mattress is soft and comfortable too! The cabin is spacious enough for a plus size girl like me (estimate 3x3x6ft).

The hotel’s free WiFi is accessible throughout the entire property. I didn’t get to check out and enjoy the pantry and the lounge area, since I already had dinner in Odaiba. By the time I reached my pod, all I wanted was to retreat - rest my back, my foot and charge my mobile phone.




While I think it is generally ok for an overnight experience, it has downsides too:
·       The pod’s ventilation cannot be regulated. I find it a bit warm. There’s very little air coming from the A/C and there is no way to increase or decrease temperature. Ventilation seems to come from the centralised A/C.
·        It is very quiet. You can hear every movement. Since I move so much, I worry about disturbing my neighbouring cabins. Even minor sounds can be heard - opening of plastic bags, zippers, footsteps. so glad they provide earplugs!
LOCATION



Hotel Entrance


I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping it would be walking distance from Odaiba.

The closest MRT is Shinonome via Rinkai Line. I had to transfer to a new train line, coming from Odaiba.
The vibe is very different. Although the neighbourhood is quiet, it doesn't feel safe to walk around alone late in the night. Despite the ample street lights, the area looked deserted soon as I stepped out of the train station
There is a gasoline station / convenience store from the train station to the hotel. I passed by to ask where the hotel was, but I swear the vibe made me feel like I’m in a suspense/thriller movie. My imagine can be intense sometimes.


OVERALL

I think staying in a capsule hotel is something a female traveller should add in her Japan bucket list. It is secure, convenient and comfortable.

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