This post is coming to you live from Capsule Ryokan in Kyoto, where me and Miss Kitty are staying tonight!
“Wait a minute!” I hear you say. “Capsule? Ryokan? Capsule Ryokan? What’s that all about then?”
Let me explain.
Capsule Ryokan is the first of its kind in the world. It’s a super foreigner-friendly, cheap hotel (well, more like a hostel really) that has capsules instead of bedrooms. But get this – the capsules have tatami in them, and futons! It’s all ultra-modern, but with a hint of “Japan”. With prices starting at ￥3,500 a night, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about!
Upon arrival, I was greeted in fluent English by this very friendly staff member. Once she realised I could understand Japanese too, she used both English and Japanese to communicate. However, her English was faultless, so if you’re worried about having no Japanese skills when you visit Kyoto, this really is the place for you to stay and feel comfortable.
There is a lounge area when you enter the hotel:
Which is equipped with a small kitchen, microwave, fridge and hot water pot. The hotel has free wireless, and right now I’m sat in my capsule typing this in comfort and peace. There are also computers in the lobby which are free for you to use.
An assortment of items are available to borrow from the lounge area, including LAN cables, alarm clocks and irons.
The bathrooms are decked out with western-style toilets and very nice showers. It’s hostel-style though, so you do have to share. Luckily for me, there aren’t so many guests at the moment (unluckily for the hotel, of course).
The capsules themselves are very comfortable, while not for the claustrophobic among you, I guess. Still, there is plenty of space to stretch out and watch the TV!
Each capsule comes with a locker, which has plenty of space for an average sized backpack and a few souvenirs.
At night, when you want to get some sleep, the capsules have these lovely Japanese-style rolling blinds to shut out the rest of the world.
I want to recommend this hotel to anyone who is planning to visit Kyoto – especially if you want to try something a bit different. When I originally found this through Google, I was searching for a cheap ryokan in Kyoto. I’m glad I ended up here instead of a regular ryokan now! It’s perfect for people travelling by themselves, but also suitable for groups as the rooms are not separated by gender. There are also ensuite rooms which are suitable for couples, and still reasonably priced.
The friendly staff member I spoke to told me that even here in Kyoto businesses have been affected by the recent disaster in Tohoku and ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant problems. People are cancelling their trips to Japan, which makes me so sad. Please don’t let the situation in north-eastern Japan interfere with plans to come to Kyoto – there is no reason not to be here right now!
So, if you’re coming to Kyoto in the future, please consider staying at Capsule Ryokan! It’s very close to Kyoto Station, and couldn’t be more convenient! Please check out their website for more information or online reservations in English, or follow them on Twitter.