My latest jaunt to Japan was during the outset of winter 2018, where I stayed for three nights at Nine Hours, a capsule hotel in Asakusa.
Nine Hours is about a 5-minute walk to Sensou-ji Temple, making it an easy choice for tourists to stay at when one wants to experience the old Tokyo. Nakamise Street is filled with traditional craft shops and food stalls, giving you an impression of historic Japan. I’d say that strolling around Asakusa is best enjoyed wearing the traditional yukata (summer)/ kimono(winter).
Its accessible location to classic attractions and activities appeals to many international tourists. Almost all of the guests during my stay were foreigners, making the experience very opposite from the first time I stayed in a capsule hotel in Gotanda where almost all of the guests were Japanese.
Nine Hours has a slick, modern design in dark hues of gray and black in the sleeping lounges and common areas, with dramatic ambient lighting. The pod looked like a futuristic human incubator (hahaha), like the once we see on sci-fi movies. Toilets are located in the same floor where the pods are.
The men’s locker room and toilet & bath are located on the same floor as the reception area. In crisp spotless white, light grey and cream colors, I wonder how they keep it immaculately clean. There are several private shower units in the bath area, each with shampoo, conditioner and body wash provided. There’s only one toilet in the bath area, so if there’s a long line, you can use the ones at the sleeping room.
Sleepwear, toothbrush, slippers and towel in a mesh bag is handed to you upon check in. There are receptacles for used towels and slippers at the bath area where you can drop them after changing into your clothes before the daily checkout. Do not drop the towel in the receptacle after taking a shower at night and plan to take another one during the morning, as you are only provided one set per stay cycle, from 1:00PM to 10:00AM the next day. The mesh bag with the sleepwear is returned every time you check out daily at 10:00AM. A fresh batch will be given to you the time you at the reception the moment you come in during the night after touring.
If staying for a multiple night, what’s nice about Nine Hours is that you don’t need to empty your locker. Only the sleeping pod needs to be emptied out during checkout at 10:00AM for them to be able to clean it.
Staying at a capsule hotel is cost-effective, and fun at the same time. But it is not for all people, specially for those people who aren’t comfortable sharing a space with complete strangers. Also, try checking out the rates at different websites as sometimes they offer lower rates than the published ones.
Nine Hours Asakusa is at 2-6 15 Asakusa, 2 Chrome-6 Asakusa Taito-Ku Tokyo 111-0032 Japan.