Who doesn't want to read in a cosy capsule bed? Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku has captured the book lover's dream, with affordable sleeping pods and a library of manga (amongst other things) for guests to peruse | Courtesy of BOOK AND BED TOKYO SHINJUKU / Expedia.com
With a focus on convenience and cleanliness, even the cheapest hotels across Japan offer a safe and comfortable stay, with the added bonus of being far more affordable than the high-end luxury hotels. If you’re planning a budget trip across Japan, whether to Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima or Kyoto, here’s a selection of capsule and kitsch hotels for an affordable stay in the Far East.
Wonderfully located in Tokyo’s historic and beautiful Asakusa neighbourhood, Our Our is a minimalist hotel with a welcoming environment. Soft tones, wood finishings and warm lighting create a relaxing atmosphere, and the hotel’s capsule rooms are surprisingly cosy, with shared desk spaces and women-only dormitories. The cafe and bakery serve light bites and sugary treats – providing all the comforts a guest at Our Our could wish for.
Every bookworm and coffee addict’s dream place to stay in the warm southern city of Hiroshima, 36hostel is a comfortable stopover that provides guests with ample reading material and a chill cafe where you can unwind and lose a few hours in a good book. The design and layout encourages a friendly and cosy environment (just check out the photos on the website of the owners and their dog Totto and try not to smile) while the rooms and dormitories are functional and fun.
While capsule hotels are a popular choice in Japan, Hearts Capsule Hotel and Spa (in the Hakata neighbourhood of Fukuoka) manages to stand out from the crowd by offering its guests a full cafe and bar with captivating city views, as well as a spa for relaxing a traveller’s tired muscles. The spa is free for you to use (though the sauna is men only) and the capsule rooms are designed with complete privacy in mind.
Sleeping surrounded with bookshelves is any bookworm’s dream, and Book and Bed in the buzzy Shinjuku district of Tokyo has made that fantasy a reality. The walls, hostel beds and even the light fixtures feature extracts and images from manga. This hostel is a vibrant celebration of Japanese literature, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find some reading material waiting for you on your pillow.
The Hokkaido town of Niseko is a popular ski resort, so it’s easy to find a selection of luxury hotels here. Pension Berg sets itself apart by being an affordable but convenient place to stay at any time of the year, whether you’re looking to hike or ski. The twin and double rooms provide guests with jaw-dropping views of the nearby mountain slopes and surrounding greenery.
This hostel in the central Japanese city of Nagoya is another book lover’s haven. Lamp Light Books sees the value in travelling the world, both physically and mentally through the pages of a book. The hotel’s bookshop is open 24/7 and they also have a cafe for guests to relax in and tuck into a new read. The rooms are warm, private and minimalist, with many of them offering serene city views.
With capsule hotels carrying a science fiction vibe, it makes perfect sense to offer guests a comic book theme on the side. Comicap is a comics and capsule hotel with a passion for manga; a passion that it shares with its guests. In the northern city of Sapporo, this hotel is a space for travel lovers and fiction fans to come together in harmony. Browse the enormous library of manga before settling into your nook for the night.
While Ace Hotel Kyoto is certainly at the high end of the budget hotel bracket, it’s well worth forking out the extra yen to stay at a place this stylish. The rooms here have an art deco design philosophy and many of them offer a separate sleeping and lounging space. Weekly events take place at the hotel, including weddings; this is a colourful, vibrant, and classy modern hotel in Japan’s old capital.