Japan is the dream holiday destination of many, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Accommodation is one of the biggest culprits in draining your wallet, with standard hotels requiring you to fork out quite a bit, especially in the centre of a major city like Tokyo.
Here’s an alternative: capsule hotels. Where entire rooms are just big enough to fit a bed – basically a sleeping pod – and toilets are shared, hostel-style. Sounds cramped, but these rooms are let out at dirt-cheap rates – and besides, it’s not like you’ll be spending most of your holiday in the hotel anyway.
If you’re planning a budget and/or solo trip to Japan anytime soon, check out this list of capsule hotels in Tokyo we’ve compiled.
From just $30/night, Ueno Station Oriental I is well-suited for those of you who are claustrophobic. Capsules are spacious with plenty of room to move around, and come outfitted with televisions.
Folk who are drawn to rustic room styles will appreciate this hotel’s wooden decor. To top things off, many of them bear colourful paintings of kabuki performers, giving them a bright touch of uniqueness.
Image credit: Expedia
This hotel is also a 3.5 min-walk away from Okachimachi Train Station, allowing you to access the rest of Tokyo more easily.
Book a stay at Ueno Station Hostel Oriental 1.
Address: 6-9-9 Ueno, Taito-ku, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, 110-0005
With rates beginning from $50/night, MYCUBE by MYSTAYS Asakusa Kurasame offers you capsules that are tastefully designed, their interiors resembling those of full-scale hotels – just smaller.
A Western buffet breakfast which includes scrambled eggs, croissants, and ham is part of the package – ensuring that you’ll get a hearty start to your day.
What’s more, this hotel is located within Asakusa, a place well known for its myriad of temples and shrines. Accessibility to the rest of Tokyo is also fantastic, with Kuramae Subway Station located a short walk away from the hotel.
Address: 2-6-7 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111-0051
From $35.50/night, take a step back in time with The Prime Pod Ginza Tokyo as you bunk in capsules resembling antique European train cabins.
The dark colour scheme isn’t just for show, as it’ll help you get a more restful, satisfying sleep each night – especially important when you have a long day of backpacking ahead of you.
The vintage setting doesn’t end with the capsules, as their in-house bar also looks like it came straight out of the 19th century.
Accessibility from here is fantastic, with Higashi Ginza Subway Station located a stone’s throw away.
Address: 13th Floor, Duplex Ginza Tower, 5-13-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 104-0061
If you’re looking for something with more traditional vibes, be sure to keep Centurion Hotel Cabin Tower within your sights. From $48/night, the capsules here come outfitted with the signature sliding doors of Japanese homes, and are decorated with intricate Japanese motifs.
The in-house bar is also designed to look like it came right out of the history annals of the Edo period, with the seats bearing kamon symbols that traditionally symbolise a person’s origins.
If you intend on doing any shopping in the area, Akasaka Sacus Shopping Mall is conveniently located within a 3.5-min walk away from the hotel.
Address: 3-12-16, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan, 107-0052
From $31.50/night, Tokyo Ginza Bay Hotel is highly accessible, located 30 minutes away from Haneda Airport and a short 7-min walk from Ginza station. Staying here will grant you easy access to a myriad of shopping, dining and entertainment options in the district.
The hotel itself is very well-maintained, with guests praising it for its cleanliness and tasteful modern decor. Again, claustrophobes need not worry, for the capsules are relatively spacious. On top of that, you’ll be supplied with essential toiletries like hair dryers, towels, shavers, and even a yukata – blue for the gents, pink for ladies.
Address: 7-13-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 104-0061
The hotel’s name tells it all: The Millennials Shibuya is one which any millennial would approve of, with rooms at a friendly $68.50/night onwards. The main draw? Their sleeping pods come come decorated with quirky hand-painted murals, which make a great selfie backdrop.
That’s not all, as the beds come fitted with a special mechanism that lets you transform them into sofas should you choose to stay up to get some reading or work done.
To add on to the package, The Millennials Shibuya provides free coffee all day long, alongside free pastries for breakfast. Beer lovers will also appreciate their happy hour from 5:30PM-6:30PM, where draft beer is available for free.
Image credit: @themillennials.shibuya
Address: 1-20-13, Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0041
Japan’s creative bulb really shines through with Nine Hours Shinjuku-North, as it lets out capsules with a distinct futuristic vibe.
Image credit: Expedia
Starting at $48.50/night, these capsules are not merely quirky in appearance, but also praised for being roomy. One guest left a glowing review saying that there is sufficient space to sit up without fear of bumping your head.
If you’re not in Tokyo for mere sightseeing, you can make use of the hotel’s lobby to get your work assignments done.
Located within Shinjuku, this hotel is easily accessible to the rest of Tokyo with Shin Okubo Train Station a 2-min walk away.
Address: 1-4-15 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 169-0073
From $37.50/night, Nihonbashi Muromachi Bay Hotel offers you lodgings in a highly accessible location in Nihonbashi. It’s about a 5-min walk away from Kodenmacho Subway Station on the JR Line, giving you easier access to Tokyo’s major attractions.
The capsules themselves are a no-nonsense, fuss-free affair, containing the basics – a mattress, pillow, and clean sheets.
If you need to chill away from your capsule, head down to the cosy lounge where you can strike up conversation with fellow travellers. Vending machines selling snacks and drinks are also available.
Address: 2-4-7 Nihonbashi-honcho, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan, 103-0023
Image credit: Hotels in Tokyo
When bunking in at First Cabin Tsukiji’s capsules (from $60.50/night), it’s almost like you never really left the plane you alighted from just a few hours before. Capsules here are designed to resemble airplane cabins, and are even divided according to “classes”.
Image credit: Hotels in Tokyo
The slightly higher prices are justified, as the capsules are much larger than the usual, at the size of a moderately-sized bedroom – with floor space for you to place your belongings.
While you’re here, be sure to check out Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple, one of Japan’s oldest Jodo Shinshu Buddhist temples, which is located a 1-1.5 min walk away.
Address: 2-11-10 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 104-0045
Image credit: Expedia
Ladies who are drawn to pastels, Akihabara Bay Hotel is for you. This women-only hotel with soft pink as its main colour scheme is most ideal for lone female travellers, with rates from $39/night.
Image credit: Akihabara Bay Hotel
While the capsules themselves are not similarly coloured, they still provide you with the basic comforts that will tide you over for a good few nights.
This hotel is also very accessible, with Akihabara Train Station just a 4-min walk away.
Address: 44-4 Kandaneribeicho, Chiyoda-ku, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, 101-0022
From just $25/night, Sauna and Capsule Hotel DANDY offers one of the lowest rates for capsule hotels we could find. It’s catered exclusively for males, with capsules that provide you just the basics of a bed and pillows.
All guests can enjoy the hotel’s relaxation facilities – perfect after a long day of sightseeing. Get a massage to iron out those aching muscles, or hop into their spas or saunas.
Address: 2-6-11, Ueno, Taito-ku, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, 110-0005
Holidaying on a budget in Tokyo doesn’t mean that you must compromise on the quality of your accommodation. For those who don’t wanna spend too much on a room but still want to live in some semblance of style, this list of capsule hotels is specially curated to prove that you can live comfortably, fashionably and cheaply – all in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Check out our other Tokyo guides for travellers on a budget here:
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