“I’m not afraid to look like a big, hairy, smelly, foreign devil in Tokyo, though I do my best not to, I really do.”

On my short list of things to try in Japan, staying at a capsule hotel was near the top. These supposedly no-frills facilities were originally designed to cater to business men, but I found one that had a ladies’ floor as well, right near Tokyo Station.

Bay Hotel – home of the capsule
The locker room – your locker corresponds to your capsule

When I checked in, I was given a detailed instruction sheet, complete with little pictures demonstrating the proper procedures, including how to find my locker, where to wear my shoes, how to find my capsule, and what not to do in the sleeping area (i.e., eat, drink, or talk). Pajamas, a toothbrush & toothpaste, a towel, and other toiletry items were provided along with the standard slippers that are ubiquitous in Japanese hotels. There were even separate slippers for the bathroom. It was a lot of instructions for one night, but I was mostly just excited to fit my overstuffed suitcase in my locker.

PJs & toiletries for all
It fits!

I took advantage of the fast internet and charging stations in the lounge to catch up on a few things. I was startled to hear an instrumental version of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” played over the loudspeakers with a distinctly Japanese flavour. No one else in the room seemed to notice, so I made no comment.

This is inexplicably the lounge sign
The lounge for working, eating, talking and anything not allowed in the capsules

Sleeping in the capsule itself was rather delightful. There is a screen you pull to close yourself off from the rest of the room, and the bed was spacious enough for my needs with cozy linens. On the whole, I would recommend the experience to anyone looking for a quiet, inexpensive way to spend the night.

Title quote: Anthony Bourdain

The capsule room
Inside the capsule from the outside
Inside the capsule with the screen down
Capsule selfie
Bathroom with the bathroom shoes
The vanity room

2 thoughts on ““I’m not afraid to look like a big, hairy, smelly, foreign devil in Tokyo, though I do my best not to, I really do.”

  1. Interesting! I’m not sure I could do it without feeling a bit claustrophobic, but it would definitely be an experience!

    Liked by 1 person

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