First Cabin: Casual Nudity and a Capsule Hotel


My "Business Class" pod/room at First Cabin Kansai-Osaka

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.

Plenty of slippers in the hotel; not so much with pants that were full length, though.
Plenty of slippers in the hotel; not so much with pants that were full length, though.

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.

The hot bath/onsen area of the First Cabin hotel was most welcome when waking up far too early in the morning.
The hot bath/onsen area of the First Cabin hotel was most welcome when waking up far too early in the morning.

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.

My "Business Class" pod/room at First Cabin Kansai-Osaka
My “Business Class” pod/room at First Cabin Kansai-Osaka


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.

The "First Class" capsule/pod/room at First Cabin Kansai-Osaka
The “First Class” capsule/pod/room at First Cabin Kansai-Osaka

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.

Bath rules in the First Cabin onsen area
Bath rules in the First Cabin onsen area

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

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

9 Comments

  1. Stayed at the one in Akihabara. Looks to be the same experience except there was no bathing area, only showers. Great value and experience for $50, I enjoyed it and was rested.

    1. I’m fine with the rest of the bath situation, but yeah, sitting on that tiny plastic stool is probably going to cause a bigger mess when you’re a big tall guy than standing does. But, I also realize I’m a giant compared to 99% of Japanese men.

    2. I’m fine with the rest of the bath situation, but yeah, sitting on that tiny plastic stool is probably going to cause a bigger mess when you’re a big tall guy than standing does. But, I also realize I’m a giant compared to 99% of Japanese men.

  2. Before I read this I just want to say that I wish First Cabin had a loyalty punch card. I stay in their “First Class” capsules all the time, but it’s very clean and very respectful on the female-only floors.

  3. We stayed at a 3* proper (but non-hot spring) hotel in Katsuyama in Sept. Despite having a bathtub in each room, they still have large common baths in the basement. Nice place to soak after hiking 11 hours up and down Hakusan.

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