You could say that simply visiting Japan is an experience in itself, because of the cultural shock. But if on the first night, with the fatigue of a long trip by plane, the dream of a trip to the East (you arrive in the morning) and with jet lag, you make an extreme cultural immersion, such as sleeping in a singapore capsule hotel, the experience is incredible.
What are the “capsule” hotels? Basically they are hotels where instead of renting a room you rent a kind of bunk, but closed on all sides except for the feet. And in each singapore capsule hotel you have a television, radio, and a meter in height to accommodate you. The reason for these hotels is to have a cheap accommodation alternative for when you lose the last train or when you want to stay on the town, since the big cities of Japan are very extensive. But for tourists they can also be an unforgettable experience.
Arrival at the hotel
It was in 2006 when I made the trip to Japan with some friends, and the truth is that when we remember the part of the first night, when we stayed at the singapore capsule hotel, it has given me something to regret that the hotel in the I was no longer there. In the neighborhood of Akihabara, finding the hotel was somewhat complicated, not only because in Japan the streets have no name , but because the building was quite narrow. In fact, from outside it is hard to imagine that there is a hotel in said building.
Of course, that is one of his thanks. In a narrow space, but high (they were six heights) can accommodate many people due to the capsules. Upon entering we had to take off our shoes. Then at reception they gave us a key to each one for the ticket office, since in the capsule there is no space to have the suitcase. At the box office, in addition, we were able to find a yukata (a Japanese robe) and slippers. Normally people take off their clothes, keep them in the box office, and already with the yukata they walk through the scarce public spaces and sleep with her. We, to have a full immersion, we did it.
Singapore capsule hotel Akihabara there were six floors. The ground floor was the reception, quite small. In the second were the lockers. On floors 3 to 5 the men were housed, and on the 6th floor the women. Yes, separated men and women, because there is really little intimacy and also a certain machismo of Japanese society. Also, the women’s apartment had a key to enter, while the rest of the floors did not.
Once in the floor that corresponded to us, we had to look for the capsule that had been assigned to us. In the room there were two rows of capsules, each row in two heights. Once inside the most surprising is that, despite being quite boxed, the meter in height is enough to sit and there is no feeling of overwhelm. The television was only in Japanese and with the radio there was no more success either.
To go to the bathroom, you had to go to the elevator area. There were the common bathrooms, where you could also take a hot bath (traditional in Japan) after showering (the water is reused between customers). Of course we did it, the cultural immersion must be full.
The most curious thing about the whole experience was the lack of privacy . Despite how tired we were, we woke up several times during the night because people were arriving (it was a weekend and there was a trickle of people who came to party), and especially snoring !. After all it’s like being in a hostel.
The next morning you just had to go down, pick up the things from the box office and leave. Everything was paid in advance, although there is 24-hour service at reception . It is always possible to buy a shirt, tie or socks, since many of the users of these hotels are executives who, after working, stay for a beer with their co-workers and lose the last train.
Of course one thing is clear: it is impossible to spend a night in the center of Tokyo cheaper. It cost us about 30 euros per person, something hard to beat. And also the experience, 100% Japanese, leaves its mark. I will always remember him with affection, despite the discomfort of having to separate men and women and the snoring of other roommates.