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This is Japan’s, and the world’s, first capsule hotel, and you can still stay there

19 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

You can find capsule hotels in every major city in Japan, but the very first to have one was Osaka. February 2, 1979 was the opening date of Capsule Inn Osaka, Japan’s, and by extension the world’s, very first capsule hotel.

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Of course, with how quickly downtown city landscapes change in Japan, Capsule Inn Osaka probably went out of business and was replaced with something else many years ago, right? Nope! It’s still open and accepting guests, so on our most recent trip to Osaka, we spent the night there.

Capsule Inn Osaka, or New Japan Umeda Capsule Inn Osaka, to use the full name on the sign, is located close to both Osaka and Umeda stations, underneath the covered section of the Higashidori shopping arcade. As to why the place has such a long name, New Japan Umeda is the name of the attached public bath and sauna facility, which guests of the hotel have free access to.

After entering the hotel, you take off your shoes and head to the check-in desk. Up on the fourth floor, there’s a lounge and changing area for guests, with bathrobes to wear and lockers to store your clothes and personal belongings in.

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The lounge has a bit of a mountain cabin vibe to it, and there’s also a photo on the wall showing what it looked like back in 1979.

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After changing into our robe, we headed to the New Japan Umeda Section of the building, which is a four-floor complex of relaxation options with all sorts of different baths, saunas, and massage rooms.

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While there are extra fees for massage services, the rest is included in the price of your capsule hotel stay, and the facilities are fancier than you’d ordinarily expect at a capsule hotel. In addition to an open-air bath section, the low-temperature sauna has a planetarium theme, with starlight-style lighting and relaxing music playing.

▼ The grooming area was clean, well-lit, and spacious.

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Once we were done with our sweating and soaking, it was time to go to our capsule.

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The atmosphere is a bit surreal. On the one hand, when Capsule Inn Osaka opened, it no doubt looked like something from a science-fiction future. Its official aesthetic was “the business hotel of the year 2100.” What looked futuristic in 1979 now has a decidedly retro feel to it, however, as though you went back in time 45 years and then came back to the future by an alternate timeline.

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The capsules aren’t quite as roomy as the ones you’ll find at newer capsule hotels, but we still managed to fit. It’s always cool to see the efficient use of space inside a capsule hotel sleeping compartment, and this one, with a TV, interior lighting, shelf, and mirror, must have been doubly impressive back in the day.

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Capsule Inn Osaka even offers some really good breakfasts. Our choices included grilled salmon and mackerel sets, as well as lighter fare such as toast and natto. But since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we went with the curry rice spread, which was delicious and filling. And yes, breakfast was included in the base price of our stay.

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Our stay at Capsule Inn Osaka cost us 4,000 yen, which might seem a little high for a capsule hotel. With prices rapidly rising for any and all accommodations in Japan’s major travel destinations, though, the price isn’t so bad, considering its proximity to Osaka and Ueda Stations, and the high quality of the bath and sauna facilities. Most of all, though, it’s a rare opportunity to stay in such a historically significant site for Japan travel, and we’re glad we did.

Hotel information

Capsule Inn Osaka / カプセルイン大阪

Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-ku, Doyamacho 9-5

大阪府大阪市北区堂山町9-5

Website

Photos ©SoraNews24

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Japanese-style accommodation at the new Premium Dormy Inn hotel in Asakusa will blow your mind

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Our stay at Capsule Inn Osaka cost us 4,000 yen, which might seem a little high for a capsule hotel.

Capsule hotels in Shinjuku this past Golden Week were priced at 12,000+ yen per person per night due to high demand from foreigners looking for a unique experience.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks like a dog kennel.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Capsule hotels in Shinjuku this past Golden Week were priced at 12,000+ yen per person per night due to high demand from foreigners looking for a unique experience.

Ouch!

I haven't stayed in one for something like 20-odd years, but remember paying about 4,000 yen/night in Shinjuku.

It was fun for the experience and easy on the wallet, but felt like sleeping in the city morgue.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I went to a capsule hotel in 1997, so I don't think it's Japan's first by a long shot.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

I always looked down on them until I got stuck coming back home and stayed a night at the Breezebay in Sakuragicho a few years back. It was clean, modern and overall quite nice. Pretty novel idea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I can never imagine being in one of those tiny cabins, I am feeling claustrophobic just looking at one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can never imagine being in one of those tiny cabins, I am feeling claustrophobic just looking at one

CH are not that bad actually.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Are there ship accomodations like that ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At my current age, it would be impossible to get in and out. It is almost like sleeping in an MRI.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if they allow tattoos. Some don't - I found out the hard way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

False news:

The first Capsule hotel in Japan opened in Osaka in 1979.

They have been around for decades.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_hotel

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Walk past that once a week when I take my son to Mandarake on our weekly trip to Umeda

Wouldnt fancy staying there though, no way Pedro!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

False news:

The first Capsule hotel in Japan opened in Osaka in 1979.

Yes. This one.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

/dev/randomToday  03:01 pm JST

False news:

The first Capsule hotel in Japan opened in Osaka in 1979.

Yes. This one.

Thanks Dev. Now I get it. They are not saying, 'This is the first Capsule Hotel in Japan opening today'.

They are saying this is the original Capsule Hotel.

Why is this news though?!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I didn't know that but i've stayed there many times.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A capsule hotel in Kyoto on a averge Friday or Saturday can cost nearly 20000 yen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I used to stay at Capsule Inn Osaka all the time. Until a few years ago, it was basically 3,400 yen for your basic capsule for one night. I found some cheaper ones so I stopped going there though. I highly recommend their massages since they're absolutely fabulous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I stay at them from time to time when I travel through Japan when I have to do my projects overall they get the job done, they are for one thing and one thing only, to keep me out of the elements and to sleep and they serve their purpose well, It's just for me, it's not something I would go to if it's with family, but just for me, no problem, so I really can't complain. The best one I stayed at was the "9hr nine" capsule, they rock, modern, and stylish, even the main lounge area places smooth jazz.

https://ninehours.co.jp/hakata-station

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The best one I stayed at was the "9hr nine" capsule, they rock, modern, and stylish, even the main lounge area places smooth jazz.

9hr is also a great capsule hotel. It's high-tech, where you sign in on a tablet, and everything is extremely clean and modern. Cheaper than Capsule Inn Osaka too at about 2-3 thousand yen. Unfortunately, the two in Osaka closed down due to the lack of travellers because of Covid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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