Imagining staying in a hotel room that is basically a capsule or pod, can be a little daunting.
People would imagine that they would be unsafe, somehow an easy target for theft, or other crime.
However, let us put your mind at ease with this quick overview of just how much effort is put into making capsule hotels as safe as possible.
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Healthy Capsule Competition
Because there is a very competitive market in providing convenient capsule accommodations, companies all over the land of the rising sun clamber over one another to ensure that their service is the best and most luxurious of them all.
This level of effort is also invested into safety measures and precautions.
What precautions are in place?
Due to fire safety regulations, the main door to your capsule will not be lockable.
This may seem insecure but if there was a fire then you don’t want to be fumbling around for a key. Fear not!
Generalized precautions include the following:
- Lockers in or assigned to each capsule
- Barcoded entrances to each floor
- Busy locations
Are capsule hotels like hostels?
Although they are reminiscent of a hostel in the sense that all pods or capsules are accessible from a communal space, with regards to safety they are nothing at all like hostels in Tokyo and are even considered to be a great deal safer.
They are always in very tourist-friendly areas. So, there are always plenty of people around. It is much more comfortable when you are unfamiliar with the language and culture, as well.
Are there any staff in them?
Often…and most have at least someone there 24 hours per day.
Capsule hotels are equipped with a surveillance system, vending machines, centralised air-con, electricity outlets, and basics like an alarm clock and a small blind on your window for privacy. It is a place to sleep, and that’s that.
Taller people would even find it difficult to sit up fully inside one. They are built to be mostly automated with minimal staffing to clean and see to any issues.
What services are available?
Communal baths and/or showers are provided, but there are no private areas for bathing.
Some will be very basic and provide only electricity outlets, Wi-Fi, a light, and the alarm clock.
Others are known to showcase:
- internet access areas
- laundry rooms
- games rooms
- and even manga collections
Some are so technological that hey have built-in TVs in each pod, positioned perfectly for lying down.
Are there gender specific ones?
Traditionally, capsule and pod hotels were male only: designed and built, originally, for the convenience of Japanese businessmen who had overnight stays for work or had missed their train home.
These days, on the other hand, there are mixed ones and those which are female only too.
So, if you would feel safer around your own gender, then that option is reportedly available for you. Even mixed ones have separate floors for men and women.
Where are the toilets then?!
If you find yourself wondering (in light of a communal bath or shower) what the toilet situation is, then look no further.
What are the inconveniences?
Privacy is a major one. You cannot lock your door and so any other guest could potentially open it. You may need to share a bathing area.
In some hotels there may not be a USB or other outlet in the capsule itself – check for that before you book…
Other disadvantages to consider:
Although they can be a little claustrophobic and inconvenient in some ways, their prices and convenience outweigh the negatives making capsule hotels immensely popular in Japan today. But are capsule hotels safe? The answer is a resounding yes!