Ever wanted to fly first-class but could never afford it? Here’s the next best thing (on the ground).

When our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was Googling “luxury accommodation at capsule hotel prices” (though it’s hard to resist the spaceship-like capsule hotel at Narita Airport), he came across one that piqued his interest: First Cabin Hakata, a hotel with rooms based on first-class airline cabins.

And true to his Google search, it was around the price of a capsule hotel, at just 4,000 yen (US$29.97) per night. Best of all, it’s within five minutes of Fukuoka’s Hakata Station!

Masanuki touched down in Fukuoka after a short flight around 10 p.m. ready to hit the sack, so he took the airport’s train line to his hotel near Nakata Kawabata Station. It’s only four stations away from Fukuoka Airport and two away from Hakata Station, so it got an A+ in convenience in Masanuki’s book.

Lucky for Masanuki, the hotel is directly connected to the station via Exit 4 outside the Nakasu Ticket Gate, so there wasn’t even much walking involved to get there. He took the escalator up to the eighth floor where his luxury experience awaited him.

There’s First Cabin Hakata in all its glory. By the way, you can also book these capsules in hourly increments during the day in case you need to grab a quick nap or freshen up on your Fukuoka trip. It’s only 1,000 yen per hour–hard to beat that!

Masanuki checked in, picked up his card key and locker key, grabbed a free toothbrush and earpick, then headed to the men’s floor to see his room. As you can see by the interior decorations, it’s made to look as much like an airport as possible. We can almost hear the airline staff announcements repeatedly calling someone to Gate XX.

Each floor has a shared toilet, washroom, and shared bath space, but we’ll get to that later. First, Masanuki needed to find his room. This Hakata location has both business-class and first-class rooms, but as a man of high standards, Masanuki of course booked a first-class room.

His first impression before even entering the room was that it was far more spacious than a capsule hotel. One box room took up the space of two typical capsules. He eagerly headed down the hall to his room to see how big his first-class room would be.

Wow! So much room! Masanuki was impressed. Along with a spacious semi-double bed, the room also had room to dump his luggage and even a small side table. He was already feeling like an airline’s valued customer. It even comes with sleek-looking slippers.

The only downside is that you can’t lock the rooms, so you’ll have to store your belongings in a locker or safe. Some of the drawers in the room lock, thankfully.

The shared bath space (which Masanuki didn’t get a chance to photograph) is big enough for seven or eight people to use at once, and you can use it anytime until checkout. There are also plenty of amenities available to guests like hair brushes, razors, and body towels.

He also thought the toilets were kept fairly clean, and there’s even a coin-operated washer-dryer you can use (300 yen for a 35-minute wash cycle or 100 yen for a 30-minute dry cycle).

You might be wondering what’s around the hotel–well, it’s Fukuoka’s entertainment district! Take a stroll outside and you’ll find some of the city’s famous yatai food carts and bars.

After a refreshing shower, Masanuki was ready for bed. He did note that since there were no actual doors to the rooms, sounds like other peoples’ snoring were easy to hear. You’re also not allowed to make phone calls or set loud phone alarms–though this may further contribute to the airline-like experience, if that’s what you’re after!

For 4,000 yen, Masanuki thought it was a great deal. It has excellent access to popular areas in Fukuoka, comes with all the basic amenities you’d need to feel fresh on your trip, and has some clean facilities as well. You’ll definitely feel like a first-class cabin customer at First Cabin Hakata. This hotel chain also has branches in other Japanese cities, so add it to your bucket list if your interest is piqued!

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