Visiting Tokyo is not cheap. A cheap room barely larger than a closet in a business hotel might cost $6oUSD, depending on what part of town you stay in.
One option for visiting on the cheap is to stay at a capsule hotel. It’s a bit difficult to plan because few capsule hotels have English websites. Also, many capsule hotels do not allow women. The number of places that allow women is on the rise but still accounts for only a fraction of capsule hotels.
I stayed at a capsule hotel in the Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo for a few nights in November. The hotel had a women only floor.It was not the most glamorous place to stay, but at 2,200 yen (~$28USD) a night, it was cheaper than most other accommodations.
Front desk of the hotel. I had to check in every night and check out every morning. They did not allow me to leave my luggage in the capsule, even though I was staying in the same place. Check-out was 9:30 am. An alarm went off at 9 am every morning and then someone would come onto the PA system to inform us that we must leave within the next 30 minutes.
Inside the capsule. Just enough room to crawl around and have my suitcase sit next to my futon while I sleep. They provide linens and a yukata (summer kimono).
See more pictures after the jump.
Every night at the hotel starts with buying a ticket from this vending machine. On the left, tickets for business rooms: 4,400 yen for a single. 6,000 yen for a semi double. On the right, tickets for a night in a capsule: 2,200 yen for adults and 1,700 yen for students.
Next, shoes must be placed in a locker. It costs 100 yen (but you get your money back when you retrieve your shoes).
The hallway with double decker capsules. The hotel was nowhere near capacity when I was staying there. The capsule "doors" don't block out noise at all, so if people were moving around at night, I knew about it.
Another look inside the capsule.
Bathroom on the women's only floor of the capsule hotel. It was full of urinals! I guess the women's only floor was not always women only...
Everything in the capsule hotel had an additional fee. Leaving my stuff in the hotel during the day would have cost me 500 yen. Buying soap or shampoo cost extra. Even watching the TV cost extra.