On our flight to Japan we wrote a list of everything we wanted to do. Between the four of us it ended up being pretty long, but right near the top was staying in a capsule hotel.
So we booked four sleep pods at the 9 Hours capsule hotel in Kyoto. A little unsure of how it would be (the sleeping pods look so claustrophobic before you actually get in one), we only booked for one night. Well, it turned out to be great.
9 Hours is super modern and the interior is almost all white and grey, so the whole place feels like a sci-fi film. There are separate floors for women and men, with spotless bathrooms and lounge areas. Each person gets a locker filled with towels, toiletries, slippers and a long grey nightshirt.
The sleeping quarters are dark and quiet, and it's a surprisingly nice place to relax.
The pods do look a bit like MRI machines, but they're actually really comfortable and spacious. You can sit up with room to spare and there's a screen at the end that pulls down for privacy. The pods even have a sleep system so that the lights gradually brighten with your alarm. We slept so well here, and the whole experience was fun and unique.
Sleeping pods are ¥2900 each and 9 Hours have locations, Gion in Kyoto and Narita Airport in Tokyo.