Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: 9 Hours Capsule Hotel Narita Airport

This post will be a review of my experience staying at a capsule hotel located right inside at the Narita Airport. Capsule hotels are becoming a popular trend among tourists in Japan and it has even expanded to open business in other countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Netherlands, Russia and there are plans of them even being available in Vancouver, Canada soon. 

It is becoming extremely popular due to its low cost and all the amenities you'll ever need including LCD TVs to watch inside your room. It is just like staying at a regular hotel but on a low budget cost. Super convenient and cheap and especially if you are traveling solo and want to save on hotel fees. I'd highly recommend staying at one if you haven't yet! 

The first thing you want to do is check in at the front desk. If you have made a reservation through their website online, then all you have to is simply show them your passport. You can also stay at the capsule even if you don't have a reservation if it is not fully booked and there are rooms available. I didn't get a good clear picture shot without people in it during my stay so I took this picture from the official website. Rooms are divided between males and females as shown in the picture with the sex symbols with males on the left and females on the right. So you don't have to worry about sleeping next to some weird man and it is completely safe!

After checking in, it is time to head to the lockers to store your luggage and valuable belongings away. I love how there are signs everywhere to direct you where to go and the next steps and even a map of the capsule in case you get lost finding your sleeping pod, lol.

When you check in at the front desk, they give you a key to your locker with a number on it and the number you get for your locker is also the number for your sleeping pod. The locker is actually quite spacious and even have hangers for you to hang your jacket and clothes. You are not allowed to wear outside shoes in the capsule so the tray at the bottom is for you to put your shoes on. Also, if your luggage is too big and can't fit in the locker, you can also leave it at the front desk with the staff to keep for you.

Along with your locker key, you are also given a bag with amenities such as a pair of slippers, tooth brush and tooth paste, a uniform robe to wear to sleep and towels. I was also instructed to return the bag and uniform robe when I check out. I didn't take a picture of myself in the uniform robe because to be honest, it kind of makes me look like a criminal sleeping in jail. And the fact that it's also in grey makes it look even more like a criminal uniform, lol. 

Right behind the lockers is the sink cleaning area where you can brush your teeth, wash your face, remove your make up, blow dry your hair and do your hair and make up. There are blow dryers available to use and power outlets to plug in your hair straightener/curler if you need to. And the floor marking sign in front of the doors on the right is the washroom!

The washrooms are very clean and doesn't smell or stink and even have warm toilet seats! The one thing I love most about Japan. And of course, all the great functional buttons such as music playing and butt cleaning options available (which I still have never tried) and don't know if I ever will because I'm somehow terrified by the fact that the toilet can squirt water and clean your butt. Somehow that doesn't sound too pleasing or comfortable to me, lol. 

Right behind the sink cleaning counter area is the shower rooms! Again, everything is clearly marked with symbols so it's super easy to find and follow. There is even shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel for you to use. I do want to mention that they do not provide or have shower caps available so I'd suggest bringing a shower cap with you. They do have hair brushes available at the front desk if you forgot yours or if you just needed a spare one to use. 

So after you have showered, brush your teeth and everything, it is time to head to the sleeping pods to sleep!

There is actually an upper unit and lower unit sleeping pod available and you are assigned randomly when you check in at the front desk. I was sleeping at pod #27 and it was at the upper unit which could be a bit of a inconvenience because I had to climb up and down the stairs every time I needed to use the washroom or go to my locker to get something. I was also placed right in front of the entrance which I was initially worried that it may be too distracting with people coming in and out but it wasn't much of a problem at all. You can ask to switch to a different pod if do you find the unit pod that you are assigned to isn't quiet enough or too distracting with noisy people. 

Inside the sleeping pod! The design actually makes it look like you're sleeping inside a spaceship which is pretty cool. And before staying at the capsule, I was looking at pictures and watching videos online and it looked quite small that it may feel claustrophobic but it was actually not as small when you go inside it in person. I still had enough room left to move around and turn from one side to the other and stretch my arms out. Oh, also in case you're wondering what those two round half moon things are next to each side beside of the pillow, it's a stand for you to put your phone, earphones, locker key and whatever you want and can fit in there, lol. 

They also have a speaker and soothing background music like the ocean waves to help you relax and sleep better! And also a power outlet to charge your phone. 

There is actually no lock nor can you lock the doors. Instead there is a curtain blind that you can pull down from the top of the pod entrance where you can pull it all the way down and cover your pod and sleep in private where no one can see and disturb you. Some people may think it's a bit unsafe not being able to lock the door to your pod while you sleep, but really there's no need to worry because as long as you store all your valuable belongings in the locker and nobody would really come or invade into your pod. Everyone staying at the pod pretty much follows the rule of privacy and respect. 

My overall thoughts: It was a pretty unique experience staying and sleeping at one of the pod capsule hotels and I'd do it again on my future travel trips to Japan, especially if I have a layover connection flight or in my case I was actually staying there because my flight back to Tokyo from Hong Kong landed quite late at 9 something in the evening. So by the time I take a shuttle bus back into the city of Tokyo, it would have been close to 12 midnight. As a result, I thought it'd be much easier if I just sleep at the airport and travel back to central Tokyo the next day. Saves on time and money! 

There are also various options available to stay at different rates. A full night stay cost 4,900 yen and if you want to take a nap, it cost 1,500 yen or you could just use their shower facility to take a shower for 1,000 yen. There are also other branch locations within Tokyo such as in Shinjuku, Akasaka, Kanda and even branches outside of Tokyo such as in Sendai and Kyoto.

The one in Narita airport is located in Terminal 2. So if you are arriving from an international flight from Terminal 3, here is how to get to the capsule hotel. 

1. Follow the instructions on how to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 at the airport. You can take a free shuttle bus from Terminal 3 to get to Terminal 2 or simply walk there in about 10 minutes.

2. Enter into Terminal 2 through the North entrance and then walk pass the ticket counter for buses and go down the escalators to level B1. And then turn right and walk straight and you'll see this sign pointing to the capsule hotel.

3. Then keep walking straight until you pass the Doutor shop (popular coffee shop in Japan) and you'll see this sign that points you to turn to your right.

4. Then turn right on the first corner and go up these escalators and then go straight through the building doors to a pet store and walk all the down from the pet store and make a left and walk straight and you will see the capsule hotel on your hand right side. 

Address: Narita International Airport Terminal 2, 1-1 Furugome, Narita-City, Chiba 282-0004 Japan

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