If you want to add to the unique experience that is visiting Kyoto, why not throw in a capsule hotel?
A capsule hotel is a more unique style of lodging and tends to specifically cater for the lone and budget savvy traveller. Capsule hotels are usually small and built to fit a single futon size but true to the efficient design of Japanese architecture, most capsule rooms also include a TV, alarm clock, storage space and a safe.
Similar to hostels, capsule hotels provide shared shower and toilet spaces and usually each guest is given their own set of pajamas, slippers and towels. The capsule hotels have a futuristic appeal that can often give the illusion of sleeping aboard a spaceship as you wander through corridors of stacked sleeping pods.
I have always found them to feel extra comfortable as the small space creates your own little snug bubble while offering much more privacy than the usual hostel options.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern to take a break from all the historical streets of Kyoto, here are the 6 best capsule hotels in Kyoto.
1. The Millennials Kyoto
Technologically advanced and Friendly
Since you’re already diving into a new Kyoto experience by choosing a capsule hotel, why not take extra advantage as you stroll into the future at the Millennials capsule hotel? The ‘smart pods’ don’t only come with all the usual night away amenities but also offer the opportunity to basically live within your own personal app.
Everything in your room can be controlled from your smartphone, the lighting, the alarm clock, the TV projection and even the recline of the bed. The alarm has its very own appeal as it’s not the usual squealing ‘wake up’ tune but a more subtle snap back into reality as lights gradually turn on and your bed repositions you from lying to sitting.
The hotel is particularly advantageous for solo travels, as the happiest of hours. 17:30 to 18:30 provides free beers in a communal area offering an apt opportunity to meet new friends during your adventure. Don’t worry if you’re not the drinking type though because free coffee is also provided 24/7!
It’s only 2km from the city centre and considering all that is offered, it’s incredibly cheap!
Location: 604-8032 Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku Yamazakicho 235, Japan
2. Sauna & Capsule Hotel Rumor Plaza
If the historical and traditional nature of Kyoto is what attracted you to visiting, then this capsule has the ideal location as it’s situated smack in the middle of the most famous and well maintained town in Kyoto, Gion.
Gion is Japan’s most famous Geisha street and is home to many traditional Japanese restaurants and shops. The wooden Tatsumi Bridge creates the ideal photo space and sake bars will keep you relaxed and satisfied as you admire the many beautiful temples surrounding the area.
Enjoy the comfortable capsules, the free breakfast and the hotel sauna before spending your time taking in all the stunning architecture and kimono wearing locals as you wander around these famed Kyoto streets and you also have the opportunity to get a different view of the city as the hotel also provides a rooftop lounge area.
Location: 605-0074 Kyoto, Kyoto, Higashiyamaku Gioncho Minamigawa 575 Fuji Building 3F, Japan
3. Tsukimi Hotel
Minimal design and minimal price
If you live for the current trend of minimalism then this capsule hotel will most definitely appeal to you. The design throughout is kept simple, neat, strategic and white, you almost forget that the concept of these hotels is to sleep in a small space as the design has left everywhere else seeming so grand and spacious.
The sleeping pods themselves are wooden and come fully equipped to address all your needs. You can also opt to get the hotel pajamas to blend into the minimal white design and feel that extra clean vibe.
This hotel is also located in a great area, only walking distance from Gion but you wouldn’t think so considering the cheap room prices.
Location: 605-0829 Kyoto, Kyoto, Higashiyama-ku Tsukimicho 21, Japan
4. MAJA HOTEL KYOTO マヤホテルキョウト
This super cosy and Finnish owned capsule hotel was designed to create a homelike appeal. In fact, the sleeping “huts” even come with a little roof shape to really add effect. The entire hotel has warm lighting and calming colours to keep guests feeling right at home as they rest during their Kyoto adventures.
Visitors can choose between ‘sleep in huts’ which are the classic, hole in the wall, capsules or the ‘walk in huts’ which give extra space and the ability to stand within your sleeping area. Each capsule comes complete with many hanging areas, plenty of sockets and temperature control.
There is also a Finnish inspired cafe and bookstore on the first floor where guests can either enjoy a warm cinnamon roll in the morning or experience some unique Salman soup for lunch. Along with all other necessary hotel amenities guests can receive bottled water and trademark tote bags.
The hotel is located close to the Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nijo castle.
Location: 604-8112 Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyoku Yanagibanbadori Rokkaku Agaru Tsuchiyamachi 92, Japan
5. Hostel Sui Kyoto
Arty but cheap
This hostel’s design gives the unique experience of living within a painting. Think wooden everything and stairs going in many directions. The beds are rated highly as comfortable and private, while the hotel is praised for being aesthetically pleasing.
The hotel has many communal areas and gardens, perfect for socialising. There is a spa and wellness centre available too where guests can relax with a massage or partake in a yoga class to re-energise before taking on more Kyoto exploration. It’s also located in another great area with the visually stunning, golden Kinkaku-ji temple just a short walk away but is one of the cheapest options available.
Location: 602-8488 Kyoto, Kyoto, 732 Makuracho, Japan
6. Calendar Hotel
If you feel like it’d be nice to get an opportunity to explore other cities nearby Kyoto then this hotel may be what you’re looking for. This complex is located in Otsu city, just a 9 minute train ride from Kyoto station and home to many more wonderful temples, impressive hiking trails and the largest lake in Japan, lake Biwa. This hotel offers far more than just capsule sleeping and could be considered a trip away in itself.
While staying, guests are welcome to enjoy the Italian restaurant, cafe, bar, BBQ terrace, bookstore, Ping pong room, morning yoga, cooking classes and so much more!
The design throughout the hotel is very alluring with modern furniture, interesting and relaxing lighting and beautiful art. All capsules are fitted with wide screen tvs and there is ample storage space for all guests. Families are also welcome.
All of this in a great location but with unbeatable prices.
Location: 520-0055 Shiga, Otsu, Kasuga cho 1-3-2F, Japan
Cheaper prices, unusual experiences, so many wonderful options, there’s truly no reason not to give a capsule hotel in Kyoto a chance.
I’ve stayed in quite a few during my time in Japan and they always feel more comfortable and private than other hostel options while always having their own personal and unique style which only adds bonus fun and memories to any trip away. Of course, Kyoto will be great no matter where you stay but again, there’s no reason not to go the extra mile with a capsule experience!