Our First Capsule Hostel!
Japan is known for capsule hostels. Accommodations are expensive, so this is the perfect way to save money and have more privacy than a normal hostel. They aren't just for young backpackers either, but can be convenient for families or even businessmen that need a cheap place to stay if they worked late or are traveling for a short time. They are getting more popular elsewhere around the world but Japan really does them well!
We stayed at the Centurion Cabin and Spa in the heart of Kyoto. It was about $23 a night per person but also included breakfast. It was 7 floors, 8 if you include the basement. The basement has the showers and spa, totally separate by gender. The spa is basically a hot tub with jets and a sauna. I tried it out a few times and was the only one ever down there. It was super relaxing. The showers were great and fully stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, and lotion.
The first floor was the reception, lounge and breakfast area. You could have western style breakfast in the lobby or go to the restaurant next door and have a Japanese style breakfast, all included in the price of your stay. We had the breakfast next door which included various items such as miso soup, rice, shaved beef, salmon, kimchi, fresh salad, and tea.
The second through seventh floors had the capsules. We were on the fourth floor and I would guess there were about 40 people staying in our area. The capsules are totally private with sliding doors. I was worried about feeling claustrophobic but it didn't bother me at all. I had room to sit up and stretch out.
The capsules are about the size of a twin size bed. Each one has a light that can be dimmed, 2 plugs, a USB plug, a mirror, small tray, a collapsible table, and a tv with headphones so as not to disturb others. They provide lockers on each floor so you can keep your stuff secured.
Each floor also comes with a bathroom area. There were 2 toilets for women and 2 for men in separate little enclosed rooms. Of course they had TOTO toilets. These were the nicest hostel bathrooms I've ever seen. There were our community sinks and again all the toiletries you might need including a tooth brush and hair straightener.
The staff cleans the bathrooms and showers multiple times a day and they don't allow you to wear your shoes into the room. You can also have your capsule cleaned everyday if you leave your door open. Everyone is very respectful and keeps quiet because of the private environment. We loved it and will definitely do it again.