Japanese Pod Hotel In KYOTO, Japan | What Sleeping Pods Are Like?

Kyoto, Japan - Japanse capsule hotel

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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

Kyoto - Japan
The capsule hotel is next door to an indoor food market

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.

Japanese capsule hotel in Kyoto

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.

Japanese Sleeping Pods hotel in Kyoto
Japanese Sleeping Pods

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 🙂

Japanese capsule hotel in Kyoto
Looking into the sleeping pod, Kyoto Hotel
Japanese capsule hotel in Kyoto
My sleeping pod in the hotel

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

For details of the Japanese Capsule Hotel I stayed in Kyoto, Japan please visit My Resources page or you can check out these other options for Where to stay in Kyoto.

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.

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Capsule Hotel in Kyoto - Sleeping in a Japanese capsule hotel
Japanese Capsule Hotel in Kyoto!
Capsule Hotel in Kyoto - Sleeping in a Japanese capsule hotel

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25 thoughts on “Japanese Pod Hotel In KYOTO, Japan | What Sleeping Pods Are Like?

  1. Karen says:

    I stayed in a capsule hotel in Japan. I really liked it and it was a nice/clean place to stay although my bf climbed into the wrong capsule, which was hilarious. 😉

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Ha ha that’s so funny Karen, well they do all look very alike so I can see how easily you can do that!!

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      I don’t think they do them for more than one person, they were designed more for business men who worked late initially. It’s just us tourists now wanted to sleep in them all the time which is making them more popular. I can’t image fitting a whole family in one of those pods though ha ha!!!!!

  2. Cory says:

    We love Japan and welcome all fun experiences, including sleeping in a capsule hotel. We are going back to Japan for another month in April and we can’t wait to further experience what this country has to offer. Only in Japan you can actually enjoy a small capsule and have the experience of a life time.

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Ah wow that’s fantastic, hope that you have an amazing time…. I am a little bit jealous!! Yes I totally agree, I get excited by little things and this experiences makes me smile every time I think about it!

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Yeah is was so much fun, definitely something to try out. It was a little bit more than the hostels I stayed at but I always think if you visit somewhere then experiences and memories are worth a few extra pounds… or Yens!

  3. Brooklyn says:

    Ever since learning about the capsule craze months ago I have wanted to go to Japan solely so sleep in one. They look so cool!

  4. Laura says:

    This sounds like so much fun! I always thought I would get quite claustrophobic in a capsule hotel so it is good to hear that they are bigger than expected! Looking forward to trying one out in Japan one day 🙂

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Yes I think you can get some smaller ones but these were a really good size and you didn’t feel enclosed at all. If you visit Japan then this capsule hotel in Kyoto is a great place to stay 🙂

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Ah thanks for the feedback Kirsten, I actually have a few more photos so added them into the post…. Hope that satisfies your curiosity 🙂

  5. Alice Chen says:

    I stayed at several capsule hotels! I actually really love them. They give you privacy without hiking up the price, and you can still get the hostel feel! I ended up choosing a capsule-style hotel for my trip to South Korea, too.

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Yeah I would defintely stay at one again, I just felt like it was a bit like an indoor tent!! South Korea is on my bucket list so will have to treat myself there too 🙂

  6. Ella says:

    Wow, it sounds like you had quite the experience! Sleeping in a capsule hotel is definitely something that I want to do on a future trip to Japan… It’s a pretty unique way of sleeping! However, I will also definitely be one of those people whose suitcase is way to big to fit in the locker haha.

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Yes it was defintely!!! It was so much fun, a mini experience in itself! Ha ha well if you go to the one that I did in Kyoto then you will be ok with your suitcases, there were plenty there 🙂

  7. Kristine Li says:

    So fun! Will being in the pod make one feel claustrophobic? I have been to Tokyo a few times but yet to try this, maybe I really will try on a next solo trip! Good thing you pointed the luggage issue out, it will be useful to keep in mind!

    • Becky the Traveller says:

      Hi Kristine, I don’t think the ones I stayed in would make you feel claustrophobic, I certainly didn’t feel like that. I have seen photos of smaller ones so maybe worth checking out options before you stay. The one in Kyoto was a really nice size so would recommend if you visit there on your trip.

      The hotel were so accomodating with travellers though so I am sure whatever luggage you have it will be fine, just useful to have a small bag to put your clothes/personal items in as you don’t really want to be going down to reception in the morning in your pjs!!!

  8. Raghav - Ticker Eats The World says:

    Capsule Hotels are synonymous with Japan. Have been wanting to go there for quite some time and definitely plan to stay a night at least in the capsule hotel. I’ve always found it funny that even though they are so popular the trend really hasn’t caught up in the rest of the world.

  9. HARUKA Narita says:

    Hello. Becky! I met you in Budapest and had a good English time with you ☺️ I really enjoyed! I hope we meet again in UK! Take care. Haruka

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