Unique Accommodation Options in Japan

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Finding an affordable place to lay your head at night is one of the biggest challenges when visiting Japan. There are great deals to be found if you travel off-season or get off the tourist trail – plus you’ll get to see another side of Japanese life further out in the countryside.

Don’t overlook hostels if you’re on a budget, even if you think you’re past your backpacking phase. Hostels in Japan have incredibly high standards and come with a much lower price tag than hotels. Other interesting accommodation options in Japan include:

Capsule Hotels

You probably wouldn’t want to stay at a capsule hotel for an extended period of time, but for a short stint, the novelty (and cost savings) of sleeping in a small pod can be well worth it.

A few basic rules apply. Take off your shoes, store your belongings in your assigned locker, and keep the noise down. Each capsule should have blinds that you can close, but remember, your neighbour is just a thin wall away! You’ll usually be given a robe; it’s acceptable to change into this and walk around in it.

Take note: a lot of capsule hotels are male-only and aimed at businessmen. That said, there are capsule hotels that cater for both genders, and even some with floors for women only.

Capsule hotel in Japan. Photo by Fougerouse Arnaud
Capsule hotel in Japan. Photo by Fougerouse Arnaud

Love Hotels

Japan’s infamous love hotels are targeted at couples, and may offer night specials as well as per-hour rates. These may not be the cheapest option, but are guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience!

Take a look at this comprehensive directory of love hotels here.

Japan love hotel. Photo by Anna Fischer
Japan love hotel. Photo by Anna Fischer

Temples

You could find yourself brushing shoulders with Buddhist monks and participating in meditation if you find lodgings at a Japanese temple.

Shukubo is the Japanese term for temple lodging, and it’s another way to experience a unique slice of Japanese life.

Try searching the Temple Lodging website for starters.

Japan temple lodgings. Photo by Jeroen Elfferich
Japan temple lodgings. Photo by Jeroen Elfferich

Minshukus

These are the Japanese equivalent of a B&B, and can be a great way to meet local families. The inns are often in a family home, offering a taste of authentic Japanese life.

Japan minshuku. Photo by Matthew Bednarik
Japan minshuku. Photo by Matthew Bednarik

Featured image of Love Hotel Hill, Tokyo by Geoff Stearns

Unique Accommodation Options in Japan was last modified: April 27th, 2016 by Esther Goh
Author: Esther Goh (56 posts)

Writer and digital specialist hooked on travel and food. Calls Auckland home but desperately misses Mexican and Italian cuisine. Esther blogs at NZ Muse.