Hotels, ryokans and guest houses are becoming increasingly difficult to book in peak season in Kyoto but if you don't mind small spaces and shared onsen style bathing facilities why not try a capsule hotel.
Usually located near major railway stations and owned by chains, capsule hotels are a fun experience and cheaper than a traditional hotel.
Kyoto has several capsule hotels to choose from including First Cabin Kyoto Karasuma near the main shopping street of Shijo Dori, the nearby Centurion Cabin & Spa Kyoto and the new Prime Pod with its funky wooden interior near Sanjo Street.
More capsule or cabin hotels are being built in Kyoto and they are particularly popular with younger travelers and back-packers. The concept is familiar to many Asian travelers but is maybe new for westerners. Simply put it's a bit like sleeping in a cabin on a ship, hence the name. The cabins often come one above the other and are a small space with a flat screen TV. There are lockers to store your larger luggage and suitcases and communal sento-style baths.
The design of the earlier capsule hotels was decidedly 1960's Jetsons with lots of shiny, colorful plastic and metal whereas nowadays ersatz shoji and wood are all the rage to present a more traditional feel.
Inside your capsule will be a number of power points, (some even have universal plug sockets), radio, flat-screen TV and headphones. Towels and toiletries are also provided for bathing and there are vending machines selling drinks and snacks and often a communal space and sometimes a bar. The Prime Pod which opened at the end of 2016 even has a small table and chair area.
Usually the sleeping areas are separated by sex - so male only and female only sleeping areas.
First Cabin Kyoto Karasuma
4F Takanoha-Square Kamiyanagi-cho 331
Shimogyo-ku Bukkoji-dori Higashi-iru
Centurion Cabin & Spa Kyoto
Shimogyo-ku Tachiuri Nishimachi 68−2
Felicita Sanjo Kiyamachi Bldg 9F
Nakagyo-ku Sanjodori Kawaramachi Higashihairu Nakajimacho 90
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