Posted by Heliocentrism on January 14, 2011
December 28-29, 2010
We went to a beautiful temple and walked through an interesting market, but so what?
Of course, since this was Japan and it was near New Year’s day, we went to a beautiful temple and walked through an interesting market, but so what? After living in Asia for 5 years, I stopped caring about that sort of thing. I just went there for the sake of Alex and my mom. To me the exciting activity for the day was checking in to a capsule hotel!
There are mostly just for men, so when Makeeya and I read online that there was one in Kyoto that offered accommodations for both males and females we jumped at the chance. Yes, they cost less than a normal hotel in Japan when traveling with 4 people, but it wasn’t just about saving money here. It was an opportunity to experience the quirky part of Japanese culture.
Except for the first floor lobby, everything is segregated by gender, even the elevators. The women’s elevator only goes to the ladies’ floors. There is a bathroom floor where the lockers, bathrooms, showers, and hot tub are. There were 2 floors of capsule rooms for women and 4 for men.
Everything was clean, well labeled, and small. It didn’t matter that I could not read or speak Japanese. Everything I needed had a picture label. I did have a hard time getting all my stuff to fit into the locker. But if it didn’t fit I could have put my stuff in a locker at the reception.
The pod in which I slept was not too tiny. I had no problem sitting up in it. There was a shade I pulled down for privacy when I was ready to sleep. I didn’t hear anyone snoring until I got out of the pod. The pod kept out most of the noise. The only time I heard people talking was when they stood right in front of my pod.
I must say that now, I prefer capsule hotels to hostels!
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to askwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)
Kyoto JR Station
- 34°59’07.5″N 135°45’34.7″E
You can get to Kyoto station by subway. It has the station code K11.
- Most shops and restaurants open around 10:00 and close around 20:00.
- There are many lockers at this station.
- You can go to the top of the station where you will have a great view of the city.
- 34°59’27.9″N 135°45’30.2″E
From Kyoto Station –
- Take the North exit near the taxi stand.
- Walk straight f0r 2 blocks down Karasuma-Dori.
- It will be on your right.
- Mar – Oct — 5:50 to 17:30
- Nov – Feb –6:20 to 16:30
It’s a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station
- 35°00’20.1″N 135°45’57.0″E
- You can go to Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line
The market is one block north of Shijo Avenue and runs parallel to it.
- around 11:00 – 18:00 (individual shops vary)
It gets very crowded at night, so you might not want to bring a big backpack here.
It’s a 2 minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.
9h ナインアワーズ 京都寺町 〒600-8031
- for 9 hours ~ 3,000YEN
- for 17 hours ~ 4,000YEN
- They provide towels, 1 packet each of shampoo, condition, and body wash, and pajamas.
- If the pajamas do not fit you can ask for a larger or smaller size. They have S, M, L, XL, and XXL.