Staying on a capsule hotel | Tokyo Kiba Hotel Japan

Tokyo Kiba hotel is one of the many accommodations in Japan that offers capsule rooms. Capsule hotel or pod hotels are developed in Japan and was intended to provide basic overnight lodging for a cheap price. We stayed at Tokyo Kiba Hotel last November 26, 2017 for a night since we will be going to Osaka on the next day and because we also wanted to try a unique experience while in Japan.

From the airport, we went straight to Tokyo Kiba Hotel and just left our baggage on the front desk. We then traveled to Akihabara, Shibuya and Odaiba for our first day. When we get back to the hotel, the front desk gave us a locker key where we can put our small bags (not luggage) and also a set of pajamas that we can use for that night.

CULTURE SHOCK BATHING EXPERIENCE

The shower room is a major culture shock for me. When we get back from a long day of enjoying the Tokyo city tour, we’ve decided to wash up and visit the shared bathroom. To give you an idea, the shared room was divided into two – the small shower and the big shower rooms.

During afternoon, the female’s room was assigned to the small shower room while the men’s was assigned to the big shower room. This will be switched eventually during the morning. The only indicator that differentiates the designation is the color coded curtain on the entrance of each room. The red curtain is for the women, while the men’s are color blue.

To be fair, both rooms have a public powder room where the sink, toiletries are available. They also both have coin operated laundry machine. The only difference is that the big shower room has a public jacuzzi. So it means female can only enjoy the jacuzzi during morning which is for me is just OK because of the culture shock that I’ve experienced later that night.

It just came to my knowledge that Japanese culture is different with the Western and Filipino way where the former normally bathe together completely naked on a shared shower room.

The shower room is divided into small area where each division has a shower hose, small stool and toiletries. It is a Japanese culture to bathe while sitting on the stool to prevent splashing of water on the person beside them. Since we are used to bathing on a private and alone, this is a surprise for me.

If you intend to use the jacuzzi, Japanese also follows a certain culture where one must cleanse and shower first before going inside and avoid bringing towel specifically dipping it wet on to the water inside the jacuzzi.

Luckily, when it’s my time to bathe that day, there are no other guests that time and I was able to enjoy it on my own. Maybe because we woke up late and other tourists are already started their day. While I’m lucky enough and didn’t experience any awkward situation, Boink on the other hand didn’t escaped it. He told me that there are 4 other guests with him and he uncomfortably bathe as fast as he can. He said that it’s his first time experience and would not prefer to do again 🙂

CAPSULE ROOM EXPERIENCE

The pod itself is basic. It has a room light control on the side-corner, a TV and clock and the basic bed lining and pillows. Since we opt for the double-sized pod, Boink and I were able to stay together on a single pod. We were assigned on the bottom part (normally capsule rooms are 2 storey high).

When going inside the pod, one must crawl or sit before moving towards the top end – it means you cannot stand-up while inside but you can still sit comfortably without your head touching the roof. There are also no actual door on each pod but only separated with a rolling curtain that can be pinned on its latch.

The double-sized capsule in my opinion will be more spacious if occupied solo instead of pair but still a night or a quick lodging is the purpose of the capsule in the first place. Also, what I’ve noticed is that there is no air/temperature control while inside the pod. Since we went during winter season, this is still acceptable but I wonder what will be the situation during summer season.

HOW TO GET TO TOKYO KIBA HOTEL FROM NARITA AIRPORT

From Narita Terminal 2, travel to Tokyo terminal. We travelled by Narita Express (N’EX) since this is included from the JR Pass ticket that we bought – Should I buy JR Pass? | Japan Rail Pass Guidelines.

From Tokyo station, exit to JR terminal and walk to Tokyo Metro Tozai Line Rapid (Otemachi station). This is approximately 5 minutes walk from terminal. From Otemachi station, travel to Kiba station (4 stations apart). From Kiba stations, walk for about 5 minutes to Tokyo Kiba Hotel.

THOUGHTS?

Did we slept comfortably on the pod? For me, it’s a yes. I was able to rest properly but Boink said that he didn’t. Partly because he felt cramped and claustrophobic inside the pod.

Would we try it again next time? If it’s the pod experience, I’ll try it again but with regards to the bathing setup – I will not. I just felt that I prefer more privacy and still not ready to share peaceful moments with fellow stranger.

Value for money? Compared to the other Airbnb that we’ve stayed in Japan, the capsule room is the most expensive per night for 2 persons. It costs PHP 2,700 per night (around YEN 5,800) while the Airbnb  accommodation that we’ve rented in Tokyo only costs around PHP 1,700.00

Have you tried sleeping on a capsule room? Did you sleep comfortably or not? Let us know! 🙂

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