Staying in a Capsule Hotel

Before I even booked my flights, I’d decided that one of the things I definitely wanted to do during my visit to Japan was to stay in a Capsule Hotel. Not wanting to risk missing the opportunity by just turning up on the day, I got an advance booking for a night at Capsule Wellbe in Fukuoka city centre.

After checking in I was given my key, which was fixed to an armband like those that you get in swimming pools, and shown to the locker room. The hotel did not allow any personal clothing to be worn in the capsules, so I was asked to change into a set of hotel-issued pyjamas and leave my clothes and bag in the locker.

The capsules were all on one floor, in a maze of corridors with capsules stacked 2-high on either side. The capsule itself was a lot bigger than I’d imagined it would be. I was expecting something of coffin-like proportions, but in fact it was long enough for me to lie down fully stretched out and still have room to move, and high enough to sit up.

Capsule hotel, Fukuoka

More photos: Wellbe Capsule Hotel, Fukuoka

As you can see in the photos, the capsule didn’t have a proper lockable door. It was just a rolling screen that you pull down and fasten on to hooks on the inside wall. The hotel staff recommended visitors leave their valuables in the locker rather than in the capsule.

The facilities inside the capsule were basic: a small TV (3-4 channels, all Japanese), a radio, light, small shelf, and air conditioning. Having checked in quite late, I didn’t bother with the TV or radio and just went to sleep.

The bed inside the capsule was just a thin mattress, but it was surprisingly comfortable and I woke up the next morning fully refreshed and ready for the day ahead visiting the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.



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