I told myself before flying off to Japan that I would try to cram in as many new experiences as possible and at the top of my list was of course, spending the night in a capsule hotel. I decided on staying at the 9hrs Capsule Hotel in Shinjuku as it was convenient enough, not ridiculously priced, and it was also the first thing that came up on Google.
The 9hrs capsule hotel is only about a five minute walk from Shinjuku Station, right next to a very convenient 7-Eleven.
Reception was on Level 8. The entire space felt very clean and clinical, and it was dead silent. I highly recommend checking in around the afternoon (we got there around 5pm) if you want some quiet time as you settle in and especially if you want people-free photos. It also allowed me to take some footage without looking super creepy, and if you’d like to watch some of that head over here. It was kind of eerie with no one being around on either of the two floors I had access to, but at around midnight, it was extremely busy and everyone seemed to be arriving around then or hanging around the locker room area getting ready for bed.
There are different sections allocated for females and males, despite each capsule only allowing one person. For anyone who’s travelling alone, particularly as a female, this arrangement can provide some comfort knowing that access to your capsule area is restricted to only those with access cards to that floor.
My capsule and locker number was #652 which I was over the moon about – it was the very last capsule at the end of the corridor and the very last locker next to the wall. I was given a little card with a QR code for opening my allocated locker.
The locker itself is a decent size because you get the whole thing from top to bottom: the bottom section was large enough to fit my luggage, the middle section provided some space and a couple of coat hangers to hang up any small items, and the top section I used just for shoes. You’re supposed to get an amenities bag in your locker when you arrive but they forgot and I had to collect mine from reception. In the bag they provide things like a toothbrush, towel, sleepwear, and slippers which you’re required to wear when you go into the actual capsule area.
I love how they use simple arrows and symbols on both the floors and walls to point you in the right direction, telling you what’s up ahead and which way is which. It was kind of like I had my own navi to get around.
So the locker floor has a small bathroom section but there’s actually an entire bathroom floor with showers, restrooms, sinks, and mirrors for you to use. There’s a decent amount of space for everyone to use the facilities though I’d recommend getting up early to ensure you get a mirror. I got up around 7am and had no issues with claiming a mirror to use to get ready. About half an hour later more girls started to fill up the bathroom and soon enough they were all full.
Despite it being extremely stuffy, the capsule itself was rather cozy. The warm-toned lighting helped me wind down and there was a dimmer for me to adjust it to however I liked. There was also an outlet provided in case I needed to charge anything. I think I spent about half the night sitting up in the capsule enjoying the space because as stupid as it sounds, it felt like a bit of a waste to knock myself out straight away instead of make the most of the experience. They give you free wifi access too so you can keep yourself entertained, seeing as there is literally nothing else in the capsule (e.g. TV).
If you get claustrophobic then sleeping in a capsule is probably not for you, but otherwise I found it quite comfy and I have no regrets about giving it a go. When I was there I kept thinking about how I could actually live in a place like this – maybe not forever, but I think even a month would be interesting. It got me wondering whether I could ever go full minimalist and have my belongings and essentials fit neatly into one locker.
Taking a quick glance now at my wardrobe, I’m going to say that answer is probably a no.