The Japanese Pod Hotel craze is becoming ever more popular with tourists visiting Japan. I have to admit it’s definitely something I wanted to experience, regardless of whether it was too touristy! And since Kyoto is an incredibly touristy place what better place to try one.
They are known as Pod Hotels, Sleeping Pods or even a Capsule Hotel but in reality, they are all the same thing, a small sleeping area which is separated from others, similar to a dorm room but with more privacy.
The realisation of the popularity of sleeping pods became all too clear on arrival at Nine Hours Hotel in Kyoto, seeing suitcases everywhere at reception, the reason they were there became clearer a little later.
Here I will tell you about my fun experience staying in a Japanese Pod Hotel in Kyoto and see if I can tempt you into trying a sleeping pod on your Japan trip!
Japanese Capsule Pod Hotel Kyoto
Arriving at the Capsule Pod Hotel in Kyoto
Like everything in Japan, the check-in process for the Japanese Pod Hotel is very efficient. You’re handed two keys, one for a little locker, which you pop your outdoor shoes in. (Don’t forget to take these off when you arrive). And you’re given some stylish slippers to wear. The second key is for your big locker which is on a separate floor.
Girls Versus Boys
Nine Hours Hotel in Kyoto had no mixed rooms, in fact, there was no mixed anything. The lift to take me to my floor was a Girls only one. With a little picture so I didn’t get confused, yes that’s me in the lift. I didn’t dare press one of the male floor buttons, in fear that I would set alarms off and I would be booted out of the hotel!
You might like to read Why add Japan to your bucket list?
The Japanese Pod Locker Challenge
First stop is the locker and shower area, for me the 3rd floor (Girls only). I have a pretty small rucksack, it’s only 55 litres, this stops me packing too much stuff. If you have anything bigger, be ready for a fight with the locker, they are a decent size but the Capsule Hotels were never designed for tourists and their giant bags.
If you do have a giant rucksack or suitcase, it’s unlikely that it will fit. But don’t worry the hotel was happy to store them in the reception area, which was manned all the time.
Entering the Capsule in the Pod Hotel
After checking in and making it past the ‘locker challenge’ I finally experience my sleeping pod. I had checked in early so no-one else was in there. It’s like something I imagine you’d find in space, yes I was a bit overexcited. Did I explain that I’m a bit of a big kid at heart!
My sleeping pod is the upper one, I have 4 little steps to climb and I’m inside; I’m surprised how big it is, it’s bigger than some tents I’ve slept in! If you want some private time, then just pull the blind down and the pod is all yours 🙂
Time for Bed in the Pod Hotel Kyoto
I’d been out to a few of the local bars around Kyoto so when I arrived back to my room at 2 am everyone else was asleep. In front of the sleeping pods, the slippers were neatly lined up, except mine. I feel a bit like someone’s going to tell me off about getting home late!
I wake in the morning having slept really well; the pod has a ‘sleep ambient control’ system, as an alarm. It’s basically a light that gradually comes on and wakes you up gently. Maybe the whiskeys from the night before put me into a deeper sleep as it didn’t quite work. I’m now the last one up so sneak off for a shower.
So if you’re looking for a different experience whilst you are visiting Japan. Then book at least one night’s accommodation in a Japanese Pod Hotel!
Book your accommodation here with Booking.com Nine Hours Hotel
Are you visiting Japan, would you like to stay in a capsule pod hotel in Kyoto? Have you stayed in a capsule hotel, what was your experience like? Tell me in the comments below.