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Capsule hotels are officially cool – and no trip to Japan is complete without staying in one. Luckily, Kyoto is home to some of the sleekest offerings.
Once upon a time, capsule hotels were reserved for the likes of Japanese business folk who simply needed a place to sleep at night. They were first conceived in Osaka in the 1970s when a capsule was cheaper than the train ticket home. Now, capsule hotels have been embraced by millennials and budget travellers alike. The concept has become a must-do experience for any visitor to Japan.
Book and Bed is a unique hostel that went viral on social media immediately after opening. Originating in Tokyo but now with locations all over Japan, it has become a haven for lovers of the written word. It operates as a hostel, library, shop and bar all in one. Sleep in small, cosy capsules located behind the very bookshelves customers come to browse. During the day, it has a bustling bookstore vibe; at night, it becomes a secluded and quiet retreat. Even if you can’t spend the night, it’s a great place to get comfy with a book and a craft beer for a few hours.
Capsule Resort Kyoto Square – true to its name – provides a more luxurious approach to the capsule lifestyle. The bedrooms come in either standard capsule sizes or incredibly roomy spaces, practically the size of a small hotel room. Facilities include a Sky Lounge with gorgeous city views, large Japanese-style bathing areas overflowing with amenities, and a dining area where you can sip on free soft drinks. It’s located a short walk from Nijo Castle.
Caphotel Kyoto is a modern capsule hotel, beautifully decorated with traditional Japanese details like calligraphy wall scrolls and Ukiyo-e paintings. The front desk is open 24 hours, daily housekeeping is provided, and the comfortable lounge provides a TV and other entertainment. It’s located near Saiin Station, which is perched roughly halfway between Kyoto and Arashiyama Stations. Each destination is only a short train ride away.
The Millennials is a new hotel chain that bridges the community vibe of hostels and the efficiency of capsule hotels. This stylish, spacious capsule hotel offers free breakfast, an evening happy hour, roomy guest facilities and soft, comfortable mattresses – all for an affordable price. Friends can easily book adjacent pods, which are small but slightly larger than the typical capsule. Centrally located near Pontocho, an atmospheric dining area overlooking the Kamo River, the Millennials Kyoto is sure to please.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Brooke Larsen.