Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Book and Bed Shinjuku, Tokyo Review

What would it be like to sleep in between shelves and racks of books and comics? If you're a bookworm or just a curious traveller, then perhaps Book and Bed Shinjuku might be worth a try on your next trip to Tokyo, Japan. Set in amidst the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku district, this unique capsule hotel is located just a 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku main station and two streets away from the busy Kabukicho where Godzilla looms. 

I am not much of a book fan but I do love taking photos and as soon as I saw photos of the capsule hotel as soon as it opened, I knew it was an experience not to be missed. So as soon as borders to Japan reopened, I just winged it and booked for a two nights stay in March 2023. I was fortunate to book my stay early as the prices skyrocketed as soon as cherry blossom season was announced. 

My flight landed at night and by the time I got out of immigration and customs, the trains and buses had stopped running. Luckily, I had already pre-booked a transfer service via a travel agent back home aka Sedunia Travel and that Book and Bed Shinjuku had a 24 hours front desk. 

Check in was brief. I paid at the desk, got my key and was taken on quick tour of the space and briefed on the housekeeping rules. After that, I was left to refreshen up. But instead of turning in, I took the chance to explore the space further since it was relatively empty and quiet. I only retired to bed around 2am.

The mattress and pillow by most standards were thin but if you're from an Asian household, they were not unfamiliar. Each cabin has its safe box and a shelf overhead to place your valuables. There was also a plug point with a USB charger. There was a space for me to store my luggage under my bunker cabin but can be quite a hassle to access at times depending on the luggage size. Each bunker had a blackout curtain for privacy. Noise can be an issue for light sleepers but nothing ear plugs can't solve.

I loved that the bunkers were slotted amongst actual bookshelves and ladders. There were hidden nooks and corners around the space for you to grab a book and hide away. There was one section against the windows where you can even eat and drink any takeaways. Otherwise, you can also opt for their inhouse cafe. 

Book and Bed Shinjuku had its own cafe which was opened to public. But guests of the capsule hotel can opt to have their coffee and food served within the allocated spots within the hostel. The cafe specialises in charcoal food and drinks like black macchiato, black latte and charcoal sandwiches with fruits. Don't worry if you think it is all just for looks because I can assure you that the drinks and food were as good as they look.

I had no issue with the shared bathroom space but some might not like that the male and females share the same bathroom entrance and a few toilet cubicles. However, they do have gender specific toilets, showers cubicles and sink and mirror but just something to consider if you are thinking of staying there. I was fortunate though as the bathroom was always empty whenever I had to use it. The hostel provides towel but if you require other amenities, you can purchase it from the counter. 

Note that unlike many places in Japan, they don’t take cash payments. They only accept credit card or IC card payments. I booked with the Book and Bed Shinjuku via Booking.com and paid RM358 (approximately 10,989yen) for two nights for the slightly bigger bunk bed. 

You can browse through Book and Bed Shinjuku's website for more information. 

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