The ‘luxury capsule’ is perfect for the traveller who wants the capsule experience with some additional comforts.

Traditionally, capsule hotels have targeted drunken Japanese businessmen who have missed the last train home. These hotels offer coffin-sized ‘rooms’ stacked on top of each other. Each capsule is generally equipped with a single mattress, power point, clock, light, TV, climate control box, and more recently, wireless internet.

These days, there are ‘cool’ capsule hotels emerging across Japan that are more foreign visitor friendly. Some now accept women and offers no smoking rooms. Lockers are available for luggage.

I recently stayed at the Capsule Ryokan Kyoto. Don’t let the name fool you. Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, and this is a capsule hotel with some ryokan features such as tatami mats, traditional Japanese flooring which is fitted into capsules.

The capsules are in rooms of eight and the shared bathrooms are very clean. There are a variety of wares for guests to borrow including irons, LAN cables and even air humidifiers. Every guest is given earplugs.

The hotel offers some nice personal touches. For example, an Australian power adapter was already in my capsule and they gave me free chopsticks as a souvenir.

A big difference between this luxury capsule and other more traditional capsule hotels is that the entry to your capsule is across the length of your capsule, rather than the width (where you have to nose dive to get into). This makes it much less claustrophobic but does take away the quintessential essence of well, feeling claustrophobic.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing and it means it’s an option for multiple night stays. The cost of one night per capsule is ¥3900 ($38). The hotel is within walking distance of Kyoto Station.

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Room at the capsule

Capsule Ryokan Kyoto – 204 Tsuchihashicho, Shichijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8226, Japan

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