First Cabin is a chain of compact or “capsule” hotels throughout Japan, a type of hotel Japan is well-known for. Our review is for the First Cabin at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. This affordable hotel is ideal for those who have an early/late flight or need a place to sleep and refresh themselves for a few hours.
Or, if you’re like me and don’t feel like waking up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport, but would rather roll out of bed and down to the departure gate, then read on.
First Cabin is in Terminal 1 of the Haneda Airport on 1F (first floor). The airport provides free shuttles which take you to the other terminals with ease. You are able to reserve your room online or over the phone. A big plus is that they have English-Speaking staff. I recommend booking ahead of time to make sure you get a room if you know you need one. This is one of two airports (Narita is the other) you fly into if you’re heading to Tokyo and Tokyo Disney Resort.
They offer rooms at hourly rates, too—check the official site for their rates—if you need a place to nap or shower. You can pay with your credit card or cash on arrival. I opted to pay with cash. There are two types of rooms to choose from, and each holds one person:
- First Class Cabin – 6000 yen for one night (~$57USD)
- Business Class Cabin – 5000 yen for one night (~$47USD)
There are two areas which are segregated into men and women. Each area has their own toilets, showers, and spa in the common area. The First Class Cabin is the larger room—which is the one I stayed in—and has space for your luggage and storage under the bed to lock your valuables. The Business Class Cabin is the smaller room and is the “capsule” part of the hotel. There’s only enough room for the bed. If you have large luggage, you may ask the front desk staff to store it for you in a secure room.
For a full overview, check the official website.
As mentioned, the room I stayed in was the First Class Cabin, which is large enough to walk into and has storage for personal items under the bed and features a small table. There’s also a TV you can watch with headphones. The room was clean and had room wear and slippers to use. Overall, it was comfortable and clean. The Business Class room is the size of the bed and you have to crawl in.
The only problem I had was the hard bed, which made it a bit hard to sleep on my side—I am not one to sleep on my back or stomach. But since this was a short stay, I can’t complain.
Being in close quarters with everyone else means you hear everything around you. You are told not to talk on your phone or even have an alarm. If someone is snoring down the hall, you will hear them. Every rustle and stuffy nose are heard. I used earplugs and had almost no issue falling asleep, and I am a light sleeper.
You are asked not to charge your devices with your own chargers and to ask the front-desk for an adapter. But there are outlets available in the lounge if you want to charge while out there.
One concern I had was not waking up in time because you are told not to have an alarm. This is solved by asking the front desk for a wake-up call. A staff member comes to your cabin and wakes you up with a polite knock and a “Good Morning”.
Showers, Spa, and Toilets
You share these facilities with everyone in your area (though men and women are separate). The toilets have the washlet, which I love and cannot live without. There are sinks with basic toiletries such as tissue, cotton swabs, and body spray. A toothbrush and toothpaste are provided in your room.
The shower rooms are private and have body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. There is an area where you undress just outside the showers. Put all your belongings in the basket and you’re good to go. If you prefer, the public bath (called the spa here) has all the amenities as the shower but in an open room with hot water tubs to bathe in after you shower.
There is a common area out by the front desk. You see this when you check-in. There are vending machines with soft drinks, water, beer, and chu-hi. Not only that, there is a hot food vending machine with yakisoba (fried noodles) and other ready-made Japanese food.
This is awesome if you are hungry at 2 AM — there is nothing else open in the airport late at night. No, I didn’t try the food because I wasn’t hungry, but I did indulge in the beer vending machine!
There is a McDonald’s, Starbucks, and other restaurants throughout the terminal. These are not open late, so keep that in mind. Check the hours when you are at the airport.
Free Wi-fi Internet
On your room card is the password for the wi-fi, which reaches your cabin and the lounge. I had zero issues with it, and the speed was good enough to do what you needed.
From the rooms to the shower area, the cleanliness was top-notch. The check out time is 10 AM, which means they give the place a good clean every day. The only minor complaint is the hallways, lounge, and shower area looks rather worn. But I can forgive this as it looks like a high-volume hotel. When I stayed every cabin was full by the time midnight rolled around.
Affordable, clean, and convenient is the best way to describe this capsule hotel. The staff is friendly and more than accommodating. The only downside is the rock-hard beds, but since this is not intended for a long stay, I can’t complain (this is true for a lot of budget hotels in Japan). While the hallways and bathrooms are a little worn—my guess is due to the volume of traffic they get—everything is clean and comfortable.
I recommend this hotel for a quick nap or a short overnight stay if you’re in Haneda International Airport.