If you haven’t already read through the other articles in the Japan series go do it by clicking here.
On my recent trip to Japan, we decided to try the Nine Hours Capsule Hotel in Tokyo. Up to this point, if you haven’t about this place, take a moment to head over to YouTube to get acquainted with the Japanese chain hotel.
I had a friend that recently stayed there and thought, this is the best way to spend a night for an experience. There is a Nine Hour location in almost every major city in Japan, but we decided to stay in Tokyo considering the rest of our itinerary.
This was our 4th day and last day in Tokyo before we left for Kyoto. So at this point we’d already gone on a couple of tours and understood the city and where we wanted to be. This was the only night out of the 11 days we would be sleeping sleeping separately. Not the worst thing.
So let’s jump right into it. What did I love about staying at Nine Hours Tokyo:
1. View from the lobby
When you first walk in, the elevators are gender inclusive, where you’ll take a ride up to the general lobby/ common area. I have to say the views of Tokyo once you get there are breathtaking.
2. Easy Check-In & Friendly Staff
Check-in is fairly easy. We arrived early and were allowed to leave our luggage and rest in the common area until check in. Everything is digital here which is pretty cool – meaning everything is access via a key card. At this point you’ll be assigned a locker where you can drop off your stuff.
The staff was very accommodating as well. My boyfriend forgot to check out by 10am before we left for the TeamLab Borderless Exhibit. When we mentioned the confusion, they were understanding and didn’t charge us anything extra. The facilities are built in such a way that they can still clean up the pods for the next guests without kicking you our of your locker.
3. Clean Common Area & OCD Interior Design
The common area was large enough where you could tuck yourself into a corner to answer emails or charge your phone in privacy. It is a fairly quiet area as well but you can make more noise than when you’re on the pod floors.
I did also see the staff measuring the distance of every chair to the table with a clipboard to give the room a uniform and organized look. Although some may not care, I appreciated the equidistance.
4. Location, Location, Location
Nine Hours Tokyo is located 2 blocks from the JR stop Shin Okubo, which is about 15 minutes to Shibuya or Shinjuku. We later realized we could have been using our JR Passes to save on transportation. Good Lesson.
There’s so many to mention, I’m just going to list them out.
- Each guest is provided: A pair of pj’s per night, a towel, slippers and a toothbrush
- Blowdryers in the bathroom
- Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash in each beautifully tiled shower room
- Umbrellas are available in the lobby
- Luggage Storage Pre Check-In/ Post Check-Out – This was definitely a game changer for us because we were heading to another city post check out but wanted to grab some last minute gifts and sit down for dinner.
6. Sleeping in a Pod
When you walk into the pod room, it is very quiet. At first it is unusual just because you came from a noisey street but you get used to it. Honestly it really grows on you to the point its meditative. We had some of the most restful sleep on the trip here. Think of it as a sensory deprivation tank, but you’re not floating in water.
Now let’s talk about the bed. You would think the mattress would be fairly thin but it was actually firm. The mattress firmness could be compared to that of the Casper mattress.
You’re provided a light comforter but that’s perfect. You don’t need anything too thick given the room itself is heated. And, you’re in a pod. Your body will generate heat in there.
There wasn’t a surface that was dirty. Someone was also cleaning up. I took a shower around 1 am, and the cleaning lady was in their fixing the bathroom.
The bedsheets were white but you didn’t see a single stain anywhere.
Bathroom was 11 out of 10 stars. Actually, the entire factuality was 11 out of 10 stars.
In the common area it was obvious Nine Hours attracts ll different types of people of all ages. There was an older women that appeared 40+ with her daughter, a pair of older men in town to watch the Rugby World Cup, all the way to single back packer. You felt comfortable. I never felt out of place or unsafe.
It was also cool to see people from different walks of life, cultures and languages ending up in the same place to experience the capsule hotel.
We spent about $70 each to stay the night, which is very affordable. That was around the price per night we were spending on a hotel, in aggregate. So it was on par with our budget.
I did try to find it on Chase Travel to use my points but unfortunately wasn’t listed. I’m sure you can pay attention to deals on Priceline and Expedia to help.
Now, my not so favorite parts of the hotels:
1. Location, Location, Location
The area is vibrant and bustling during the day. You can find anything you need from cheeseballs to a new phone case. But majority of places closed by 11pm.
We took a 20 minute walk in the rain to Omoide Yokocho or commonly referred to as Piss Alley.
2. Bigger Lockers
I think this is self explanatory. Locker space will fit about the size of a carry on luggage. Plan accordingly.
Ps. My boyfriends luggage was completely safe in the lobby, and guarded 24 hours by the staff at the main desk.
3. More Amenities Needed
Although they offered so many amenities offered, I felt like things were missing. For example, you only get 1 outlet in your pod and a handful of outlets strategically placed in the common area. Their are outlets in the bathrooms but who wants to leave their items to charge. This was particularly important to us because we had phones, laptop, camera and battery packs to charge.
Also, no iron. At least have 1 per floor.
4. How quiet is too quiet?
For the most part I loved how serenely are quiet the sleeping floors were, but it’s a tough place if you need to set an alarm. You can’t set an alarm without waking everyone up.
This unfortunately happened to my boyfriend. He let the alarm ring for a while and someone had to wake him up. Just be mindful if you’re not a morning person.