We recently visited the new Nadeshiko Hotel and were truly impressed. Find out what this women-only capsule hotel has to offer!

With ever increasing tourism to Japan, it’s hard to snag a decent hotel in Tokyo for under 10,000 yen (US$92) per night. Business hotels such as Toyoko Inn or APA are great for travellers on a budget, but what do you do when even those are full?

That’s the position I found myself in when I scheduled an impromptu trip to Tokyo recently. Being a seasoned Rocketeer however, I’d just read about the recently opened Nadeshiko Hotel and was itching to give it a try. After all, despite my preconceptions of capsule hotels (cramped, smelly, a bit creepy), it looked genuinely inviting! I made a reservation online and two days later was finding my way through the quaint little neighborhood the hotel is located in.

From Inokashira Shinsen Station, Nadeshiko Hotel is just a few minutes’ walk through the back streets. The narrow roads are packed with an array of tiny pubs and cafes.

▼ The Nadeshiko Hotel front desk window is actually outside.


Once I checked in, I was given a passcode for the touchpad-operated gate so I could come and go as I pleased, and one of the hotel staff showed me to the fourth floor where my bed, which the hotel calls a “cocoon,” was located. I liked the idea of a cocoon much more than a “capsule;” perhaps I’d emerge in the morning as a beautiful butterfly!


The room in which the cocoons are located has subdued lighting which, while adding a nice ambiance to the room and the artwork, also reminds guests to be quiet.


After all, there are many people staying in this room besides you. Each cocoon is private, with a screen that pulls down over the entrance. I liked this because they are more private than the simple bunk-beds you’ll often find in youth hostels.


Inside, the cocoons are well-lit, and comfortable bedding is provided. They’re much wider than I had envisioned—the same size as a single bed or futon.


A colorful yukata was provided (I was given a choice of a colors and patterns) and a welcome bag with free goodies inside.


What’s inside the bag? Glad you asked! A toothbrush set, hair brush, cotton swabs, a wash cloth, skin care set and…tabi socks! In addition, you have the option of accepting a free pre-paid SIM card.


The socks are probably to use if you came in sandals so need something to cover your feet as you pad around in the hotel slippers (no outdoors shoes allowed, naturally!).

Inside the cocoon is a console with a digital clock featuring an alarm, a light dimmer, and a fan switch. There’s also a small shelf and a place to plug in your electronics (not pictured).


Now settled in my cocoon, it was time to go for a soak in a nice hot bath! But first, where do I leave my valuables?

In a locker, of course!


Okay, now it’s time to put on the yukata and head to the bath!

▼The noren curtain has the hiragana character “yu” (hot water) on it.


The bath is just like a regular public bath. It has sinks, mirrors and hair dryers.


Much like at an onsen hotel, just outside the bath is a room with baskets for you to leave your yukata in while you’re bathing. Towels are provided: one bath towel and one smaller towel to use like a washcloth when you shower before getting into the communal bath.


Okay, now we’re inside the steamy bath area! Look at the lovely mural of Mount Fuji–It really is like a traditional public bath. Except, actually, it’s much nicer…


There are two other baths you can try too. One is an individual wooden bath…


…and the other is my favorite, a replica of the original Japanese iron baths, the goemomburo.

▼ Just squat in this and soak in the tradition!


One similarity to the Japanese sento, or public bath, is the camaraderie communal bathing invites. Public baths in Japan have always been social places where neighborhood women (and men) gather. The entire experience staying at Nadeshiko Hotel felt like being a part of a special women’s club. Many of the women are traveling solo and thus are open to meeting other travelers. You may be surprised to find Japanese women especially chatty in the bath. I met one Japanese woman who was an English teacher in Gunma Prefecture and she too was in Tokyo on business. So don’t miss the opportunity to socialize with local Japanese women who always seem to be happy to make new friends!

When you get out of the bath, you’ll feel so relaxed. You’ll also have experienced traditional Japanese bathing rituals.

Anytime during your stay you can hang out in Japanese style common room that has free WiFi, a few public computers and low Japanese tables where you can sit on zabuton cushions and have a cup of green tea or espresso along with a Japanese senbei snack.


I found the whole experience much more satisfying (and cleaner) than a youth hostel, business hotel, or the typical accommodations aimed at foreign guests. Such places tend to sacrifice elements of Japanese culture in order to make the accommodation more “comfortable” (by using Western-style tables and chairs, beds and showers). Nadeshiko Hotel manages to keep the aura and social graces of a Japanese-style inn while making their accommodation accessible to foreigners by providing handy information in English.

For the 5,500 yen ($51) price, Nadeshiko Hotel has a lot to offer the female budget traveler. If you and your girlfriends are coming to Japan to experience Japanese culture, and you want to save money, this will surely be your preferred option. It’s a true Japanese experience that will have you emerging from your accommodation a beautiful butterfly.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s a capsule hotel?


Unfortunately, Nadeshiko Helo’s website doesn’t tell you how to get there from the station, and the GPS on cellphones can be a bit unreliable in certain parts of Tokyo due to all the tall buildings and little streets, so I’m going to give you some old-fashioned directions now!

From Shibuya Station, take the Keio Inokashira Line (京王井の頭線) one stop to Shinsen Station (神泉駅). From there, take the exit headed towards Ura Shibuya Dori Street (裏渋谷通り). When you dead-end into Ura Shibuya Dori, take a right. Walk a couple of minutes, check out the enticing restaurants, bars and izakaya and consider which ones you want to stop in for food or drinks later. Lastly, while you’re probably still salivating, turn left here:


This nondescript corner has a tonkatsu restaurant on the left and a white apartment building on the right. This is the road Nadeshiko Hotel is on. It’s up this road one minute on your right. Look for the colorful blue curtains!


Travelers from abroad especially will be pleased to learn that there’s a gift shop and a studio downstairs from the main hotel, where you can dress up in a kimono and have your photo taken. They were closed during my visit, unfortunately, as I arrived late and left early the next morning, but if it’s anything like the rest of the hotel you’ll definitely want to check it out. There is also a soon-to-open restaurant on the first floor, to the right of the front desk that is open to guests and non-guests alike, male or female, so you won’t have to even put on a coat to grab dinner!

Nadeshiko Hotel: 10-5 Shinsen, Shibuya, Tokyo

Tel: (+81) 3-5489-3667 (international) 03-5489-3667 (Japan)
Fax: (+81) 3-5489-3368 (international) 03-5489-3368 (Japan)