Shinjuku or Shibuya? This is the question I asked myself when searching for a place to stay in Tokyo. From one of the forums, I found my answer – Shibuya is where the action is; Shinjuku offers cheaper hotels.
So I booked at Nine Hours Shinjuku-North, a capsule hotel within a 2-min. walk from Shin-Okubo Station.
How was my stay? Overall, it was a pleasant one, but I didn’t like their check-in/check-out rules.
It has the best location, as far as convenience is concerned. It’s on a street where everything you need is within reach.
Beside the hotel is a 7-11 if you’re in need of an onigiri or an ATM. A few steps away are food stalls offering cheap eats. If you run out of clothes, there are at least 3 thrift shops selling t-shirts for 400 JPY.
When it comes to attractions, the hotel is about 1.5 km from popular entertainment districts/streets such as Kabukicho and Golden Gai (image below).
And yes, as previously mentioned, it’s just a stone’s throw away from the JR Shin-Okubo Station.
Check-in and Check-out Rules
I don’t think all capsule hotels in Tokyo have this rule. But I find it to be inconvenient, especially if you’re booked for several consecutive days.
The rule is, you have to check out before 10 in the morning everyday for the rest of your stay. Then, you’ll need to check in starting at 1:00 everyday for the rest of your stay.
When you check out, you have to surrender your locker key. Once you do that, you cannot go back to your capsule unit, and you cannot have access to your locker until you’re issued a new one starting at 1:00 pm.
So basically, there’s a lockdown that runs for 3 hours, presumably to allow the hotel’s staff for housekeeping.
There are three elevators in the building. The one in the middle is programmed to shuttle guests non-stop from the first to the 8th floor, where the reception is.
The two other elevators – and so are the capsule units – are sex-segregated. These should lead you to your capsule unit and the shower rooms.
That said, 9h is not a mixed capsule hotel. If you’re a guy and you’re traveling with your girlfriend, you’ll sleep in separate quarters.
The units are clean, and the sheets smell clean. They have their own light and charging socket. They’re also spacious and have a blind for privacy.
Shower Rooms and Toilets
The shower rooms (for men) are located on the 7th floor.
You’ll have your own cubicle, even if you think everyone else is on a rush to beat the 10-am check-out time.
Yes, the hotel’s free wifi is reliable. The signal only becomes sporadic when you’re inside your capsule unit.
The lockers have two large compartments. They also have a few hangers, and above is a space assigned for your shoes.
Behind the reception desk is a waiting area equipped with cubicles (where you’re allowed to work on your laptop) and a very long table.
You can stay here while waiting for check-in time. Or you can enjoy this view of the city.