David and I wanted to spend the night in a Capsule hotel. Capsule hotels are something specific to Japan, I believe. In most countries they would have certainly been impossible to conceive.
The guests sleep in small compartments stacked and arranged in rows in a honeycomb-like pattern. The compartments cannot be closed but a curtain can be pulled down to provide some privacy.
Capsule hotels are very popular on weekends when people are out partying. The Tokyo Metro stops running fairly early in the evening and the party people have no choice but to either party on until dawn or find a hotel, and capsule hotels were invented to serve that need.
Having spent the day in the wintery cold of Tokyo we became tired pretty early. As David was still ill and I felt like I was also catching his flu, we checked in fairly early. The hotel was largely empty at that point.
When you enter the hotel, you first have to take off your shoes, store away all your possessions in a locker, and put on a Yukata, a lightweight cotton Kimono (This one looked a bit like the uniform of a psychiatric hospital. Tell me, don’t you love that flattering photo?). On check-in they hand you a bracelet which not only works as a key for the locker but also as a means of payment for the restaurant and spa (Staff is available at all times to give you a massage). You leave the stresses of the day behind you and dive into a world of warmth and convenience and lack of privacy.
We took a look at our capsules, marveled at the advertisements for pornos glued to the walls of the capsule, and went to the restaurant to drink a juice and watch some Sumo. Then we took a nap in the capsule. To my amazement I fit in perfectly. With my 1.94m I had had strong doubts about this. After an hour or so we were strong enough to get some Indian food. Then we had a soak in a big hot pool in the common baths and went to sleep again. Amazingly, now the capsule was too short.
The next morning we awoke refreshed and a bit more energetic. Now, most of the compartments were occupied. I took another bath, this time in the open-air pool on the roof. Unfortunately, the view over Shinjuku was obscured by big panels, but I can understand. They have to protect the passers-by from shocking views more than anything else.