In my capsule (Photo: Peter Sidell)

Rex Inn Kawasaki

Get the authentic Japanese capsule hotel experience

In my capsule (Photo: Peter Sidell)
Peter Sidell   - 3 min read

Having an early flight from Haneda airport one time, I decided that rather than struggle on the rush hour trains with my baggage, I'd treat myself to a hotel near the airport and a shorter, easier journey. Of the many choices available, I plumped for Rex Inn, close to the station and inexpensive to boot.

It's a very typical capsule hotel; traditionally, they're intended to provide somewhere to sleep for men who've been working late and/or missed their last train home, so that's who the facilities are designed for.

One of the capsule floors
One of the capsule floors

The capsule floors look like the crew quarters on a long-haul spaceship; rows of neatly stacked boxes for sleeping in, with a screen for privacy, and inside the capsule are your adequately comfortable mattress, cover and pillow. You can pay more for a cabin, which gives you a more private space, with a desk and chair next to your capsule.

On the upper floors there are some more facilities, aimed squarely at tired salarymen. There's a cafeteria, with vending machines for snacks and drinks, and food service in the evenings. On the same floor there's a manga library, and a room full of massage chairs, where you can sit reading your manga or watching TV.

Upper and lower capsules
Upper and lower capsules

Then on the top floor there's the sauna and spa; the sauna was compact but satisfyingly sweaty, and it was nice to relax in the big communal bath. There's a small rest area to cool off between soaks and steams, and a small outdoor bath, which in winter allows you to enjoy the contrast between cold air and hot water.

Kawasaki is a large, populous city, so near the hotel you can find a whole wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife. There's little nearby by way of sightseeing, but one impressive sight is Kawasaki Daishi, a large Buddhist temple.

Getting there

It's on Sakura-Dori, just a few minutes' walk south from Keikyu Kawasaki station, on the Keikyu line, and from JR Kawasaki station, on the JR Tokaido, Keihin-Tohoku and Nambu lines.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.