Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Nine Hours: Japan’s Best and Most Modern Capsule Hotel Chain

Accommodations in Japan are getting increasingly expensive after the pandemic. So, capsule hotels have become a good option for those who are budget-conscious and don’t want to splash out on hotels. However, the quality of these cheap options can sometimes be questionable, so you may not have a pleasant stay. Thus, if you are after a capsule hotel that is well-managed and stylish, consider booking your stay with one of Nine Hours’ hotels. It is our go-to choice when we just need somewhere to shower and sleep.

Table of Contents

Refer to HERE for the hotel information sheet and HERE for what to be aware of when staying at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel.

The Concept of Nine Hours

The hotel’s name, “Nine Hours,” comes from simple math: one hour of refreshing time, seven hours of sleeping time, and one hour of getting ready. Thus, all Nine Hours hotels are only equipped with the essential facilities required to get their guests ready for the next day.

Although the hotel only has shower rooms, sleeping pods, lockers, toilets, and wash basins, everything is prepared and maintained to a high standard.

Book Your Stay With Nine Hours Capsule Hotels

The Sleeping Pods in Nine Hours

Nine Hours’ sleeping pods might remind you of a few scenes from science fiction movies you have seen. The space is like the internal of a spaceship. Each pod is like a cocoon where a cyborg resides. The design maximizes the capacity per floor without making the customers feel confined during their stay. While you can’t stand up in your pod, there is enough space to move around and stretch your legs.

Once you put down the roller blind, the pod becomes a private space. Lighting can be adjusted by turning the lighting knob in the pod. Each pod is also equipped with USB and power outlets for electronic devices charging.

Note that you can’t use the power outlet as usual. After slightly plugging the plug into the power outlet, turn it 90 degrees.

The arch-shaped Gymnast Plus pillow is the capsule hotel’s secret to give guests a good night’s sleep. Designed and produced by the long-established pillow maker Kitamura (まくらのキタムラ), the pillow can match your head’s shape and support your head properly.

The Pictogram Inside a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

Even if there is no English sign, the graphical symbols and their colors make it clear what is behind a certain door and the facility on each floor. Apparently, the designer who designed these pictograms is the same guy who designed those used in Tokyo’s Olympics!

If the hotel takes both male and female guests, the elevators for each gender are separated. So, remember to check the sign on the door before pressing the up button. The escalators only stop on floors designated for a particular gender.

The Shower Rooms in a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

Unlike many hostels in Japan, the shower facility at Nine Hours consists of several shower rooms, which provide the privacy that international tourists need. Each shower room is equipped with a removable TOTO showerhead and an overhead showerhead or water outlet. No matter which option you choose, continuous hot water that flows on your body will keep you warm and relaxed.

Of course, the Nine Hours capsule hotel chain receives Japanese guests. To keep them happy, some of their hotels also have a bathtub! If you want to bathe, use it when it is vacated. That particular shower room was always occupied during our stay, except in the early morning!

The shampoo, conditioner, and body soap in each shower room are also provided by a long-established brand called TAMANOHADA. Nine Hours changes the products’ scent according to the season: mint in spring and summer and fig in autumn and winter.

You will also find hair dryers and wash basins on the shower floor.

The Lounge Space in a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

Each Nine Hours hotel has a lounge space, but the size differs. For example, the resting space at Nine Hours Woman Kanda is tiny and can only fit four people. However, many Nine Hours capsule hotels in Tokyo have a resting and workspace floor, such as the Nine Hours Ningyōchō (ナインアワーズ 人形町).

Can Children and Teenagers Stay at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

Children who are six years old and older can stay at any Nine Hours Capsule hotel with a parent or guardian.

  • If the child is between 6 and 11 years old, the guardian must be the same gender.
  • If the teenager is between 12 and 17 years old, the guardian doesn’t need to be the same gender.
    • In addition, he/she can stay by him/herself given a signed Consent Form is submitted to the hotel.

The Check-in Process at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

The check-in process depends on which Nine Hours hotel you stay at. The Smart Check-in System is used at a couple of Nine Hours Capsule hotels, such as the Nine Hours Ningyōchō and Nine Hours Women Shinjuku. This means the process doesn’t require staff. The staff will check you in if you stay at other Nine Hours hotels.

You will receive a numbered card with a QR code printed at the end of the check-in process. Keep this card safe. The number tells you which locker and pod you can use during your stay, and you need to scan the QR code to open your assigned locker.

What Is in the Lockers at Any Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

After checking in, the locker room is the next stop in the hotel. This is where you leave the majority of your belongings. Scanning the bar code might be tricky as the QR code on the key card is small. So, be patient and ensure the red light from the scanner hits the QR code. The locker’s indication light will turn blue when it is successfully unlocked.

There are a few things provided by the hotel in the locker:

  • A shoe tray
  • Two hangers
  • A bag consisting of a normal-sized towel, a body towel, a footpad, pyjamas, slippers, a toothbrush, and toothpaste

Tip: If the locker doesn’t fit your suitcase, the reception staff can store it in the hotel’s storage.

The Check Out Process at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

You need to do one more thing when checking out from any Nine Hours Capsule Hotel. Please return the black bag and pyjamas given to you when you check in (refer to the IG Post). A few baskets are placed near the reception in the morning. Simply leave what was given to you in the designated baskets.

Towels and footpad can either be left in the towel collection box on the shower room floor (refer to the 2nd photo of the IG Post) or in the towel basket near the reception in the morning. The single-use slippers go into the bins.

The staff will also collect your locker key card on your way out.

Staying at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel for More Than One Night

If you have booked consecutive stays at a Nine Hours Capsule Hotel, you need to check out and check back in each day. While this is inconvenient, the staff need to clean your sleeping pod for hygienic reasons. The staff will collect your locker key card on your way out in the morning. The key card will be given to you again when you return in the afternoon.

Your pod and locker numbers will remain the same. So, you can store your belongings in the locker.

Other Recommended Hotels and Ryokans in Japan

Click the photo for our other recommended hotels in Japan!

Because we travel to Japan regularly, we stay in modest accommodations to save money. While the facilities at these low-to mid-range hotels are generally the same, we occasionally encounter hidden gems. This is when we write a review report recording our experience.

If you also travel in similar style, refer to the Accommodation category for the hotels of great value for money!

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