First Cabin is a chain of capsule/pod hotels in Japan that offer “airline-themed” stays. I’ve been keen to give it a try for a few years now but the locations and my schedule only finally lined up after a late evening arrival into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport. The First Cabin Kansai-Osaka is attached to the main terminal making it easy to get to and fro, a most welcome amenity after 20ish hours en route.
The check-in process was efficient and I was soon handed the key to my lock box and a bunk assignment. The “cabins” are open pods with a sliding curtain to provide privacy but not security. Each comes with a small drawer/bin in which valuable can be stored. Guests also receive pajamas (no, the “large” don’t really fit gaijin) and slippers to be more comfortable during the stay.
Beyond the “cabin” all the amenities are shared. Showers are individual but the bath area is common, as is the dressing room. Because the hotel is separated by gender the baths are, in keeping with Japanese culture, au natural. At 5am when my jet lag kicked in a warm soak was most appreciated. Not a lot of eye contact with the others in there, though.
I booked a “business class” cabin, choosing to save cash here rather than splurge for the “first class” offer. The difference is a bit of extra room to stand beside the bed and a side table to sit at. I wasn’t in the building long enough to contemplate working at the table (<8 hours between check-in and check-out) and I didn’t need the space for my stuff as I didn’t have any bags with me thanks to the LCC bag fees.
Maybe that was a mistake given the level of activity around me throughout the night. I heard the sliding curtains going up and down. A lot. Earplugs helped but it was not the most restful sleep I’ve ever had. And I was guilty of causing trouble in this regard; a couple beers prior to bed had me wandering to the toilet around 2:30am which hopefully didn’t wake others nearby.
What I never quite figured out during my stay is, other than the names of the two types of capsules, what the tie-in to aviation is. The bed numbers had a plane next to them but that’s far from a strong branding tie.
Ultimately, it was a good stay for the price. I would repeat it under certain circumstances. The bed was comfy and the convenience for a a 9:30p arriving flight and 7:30a departing flight is hard to beat. But it is hardly an AvGeek special. If the Hotel Nikko next door had been similarly priced that likely would’ve been the smarter play for the noise reasons. Though I’m not sure it has the onsen for soaking.
And that was really, really nice.
More from my Japanese LCC Adventure
- The Japanese LCCs: Building an Adventure
- The Japanese LCCs: Vanilla Air
- First Cabin: Casual Nudity and a Capsule Hotel
- The Japanese LCCs: Peach Airlines
- Exploring Fukuoka: But why??
- The Japanese LCCs: StarFlyer
- The Japanese LCCs: Air Asia Japan
- The Japanese (non) LCCs: Japan Air Lines
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