Capsule Hotels vs Hostels

It’s always important to save some money while you’re traveling. Here are some great tips to help you save money on your adventures; whether you choose capsule hotels or hostels for your stay!


Capsule hotels are typically gender separated; sometimes they’re entirely devoted to one gender—ladies, check out Centurion Cabin and Spa—and sometimes, there will be one floor designated women to use.

If you’re staying at a hostel and don’t wish to share with the opposite gender then make sure you have access to an exclusionary bathroom on your floor, or at least within the building.


Although security is seldom a concern at capsule hotels or hostels, there are some options. Some hostels offer luggage storage, whereas some you’ll be expected to stow it under your bunk or in a closet. Capsule hotels, on the other hand, typically have a lock under your capsule or in the shared bathroom.


Both hostels and capsule hotels are dark and there isn’t any natural light to wake you in the morning. If you have a tight schedule—or just don’t want to sleep the day away—you might need some help to get you up. Hostels don’t generally ban alarms, but you may be surprised that capsule hotels do.

At a capsule hotel, however, you can arrange for a “wake-up shake”. After you confirm your wake-up time with the reception staff, you’ll feel a nudge at your feet and a flashlight beam in your face the next morning. You’ll need to give them a silent nod or thumbs up to acknowledge that you’re awake and won’t go back to sleep. It can be an interesting wake-up experience.

Confined space:

Whichever you choose to stay at, you’ll need to accept the fact that silence is the golden rule—or at least very quiet. Typically, you’re allowed to sleep, charge devices, or watch TV (with headphones that are provided, if your capsule has a TV). Most do not allow you to make phone calls, eat, or talk loudly while in the sleeping area.

This can be a blessing disguise, as it almost forces you to go out and do some more exploring or interact with guests in the communal areas.


If socialization is high on your priority list, you may be more inclined to stay at a hostel. You can get some great travel advice from other guests staying in the communal areas. Generally, mingling and chatting at a hostel is more accepted than at a capsule hotel where people usually just want to sleep and be left alone.

Ear Plugs:

For your own sanity, try to bring along some ear plugs. Capsule hotels and hostels can be pretty noisy depending on everyone’s quality of sleep. You don’t need to be kept up all night hearing when other guests get in their beds, repack plastic bags, or snore the night away. Ear plugs can be the saving grace of many a traveler.


Capsule hotels can offer you more security but at the cost of socialization. The actual size of the bed doesn’t differ much between the two and it’s always best to select your accommodation in terms of location and what it can add to your stay, or what extras they offer.

You might find accommodation—hostel or capsule—that offers free breakfast, last checkout, bicycle rental, personal safe, tourist info of the area, and shower supplies. Most will give you a bed and, usually, a shared bathroom. You’ll find Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto are more likely to have more of the special services and amenities. So long as inexpensive travel accommodation is what you’re after then it’s perfect for the thrifty adventurer.

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