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8 wacky hotels unique to Japan

Thinking of trying something different on your next holiday? There’s nowhere quite like Japan.

Not only is it topping bucket-lists as the trendiest destination of the year but it’s also the perfect place to sample something a little out of the ordinary, such as staying in a capsule hotel or even sleeping in the claws of a dinosaur.

Single or taken there’s a wacky hotel out there for you and it’s guaranteed to be something to write home about.

Types of hotels in Japan

Love hotel (rabuhoteru): a type of short-stay hotel, bookable by the hour offering adults a private space for intimacy. Often themed, love hotels are widely accessible throughout Japan.

Ryokan: a type of traditional accommodation originating from the 17th century. The rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, futon-bedding as well as access to communal bathing facilities.

Capsule hotel: originating in Japan, this hotel features extremely small “rooms” (capsules).

A wacky hotel in Japan with a glass-bottomed Jacuzzi

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With a somewhat kinky past this hotel has done a lot to clean up its act. Khaosan World Asakusa offers comfort and modern amenities in the setting of a traditional ryokan, catering to budget travellers. You can opt for a dorm room or if you’re curious, choose an option more closely aligned with a love-hotel. There are a number of funky rooms boasting exotic features such as mirrored walls and personal Jacuzzis.

Our favourite relic from the hotel’s illustrious past is a glass bottomed Jacuzzi in the Party Maisonette Room, allowing those in the room below a different kind of view…

Khaosan World Asakusa Ryokan & Hostel

Tokyo, 24.5 km to Ajinomoto Stadium
8.4 Very good (3665 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.7 / 10
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A wacky hotel in Japan with Hello Kitty rooms

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You, me and Hello Kitty, what more could you want on a city break in Tokyo? The Kitty-themed rooms at Keio Plaza Hotel range from: the colourful and pop-arty Kitty Town to the pretty-in-pink Princess Kitty rooms. Both room-types are equally elaborate with everything Kitty themed – Kitty dolls, Kitty cakes and Kitty kettles – feel immersed in your childhood dreams in a surreal feline wonderland.

Whereas Kitty Town centers on the idea of Kitty enjoying a city break in Tokyo, Princess Kitty steps it up to a whole new level of fandom. Hard-core Hello Kitty fans can lounge on high-heel-shaped sofas and enjoy finishing touches such as drawers decorated with pink ribbon and carpets carrying Kitty’s signature roses. To ensure Kitty-filled dreams, you can catch some z’s under a custom Princess Kitty headboard.

Hotel Keio Plaza Tokyo

Top rated
Tokyo, 15.4 km to Ajinomoto Stadium
8.5 Excellent (8400 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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A wacky adults-only love hotel in Japan

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If you’re feeling adventurous then get your jam on at Hotel Public Jam, a popular love hotel in the centre of Osaka. The array of themed rooms are perfect for living out your fantasies. From a vintage VW Beetle in the middle of your room, to a perfectly positioned street lamp for showing off your pole dancing moves, these hotel rooms have thought of everything. Looking to capture a damsel in distress? Then seek out the hotel’s most popular room resembling a cabin in a wooden ship – perfect for a pirate themed escape.

All rooms are soundproofed with free WiFi and access to 24-hour room service, ensuring the utmost privacy and convenience.

Hotel Public Jam - Adults Only

Osaka, 5.3 km to Bentencho Station
7.6 Good (193 reviews)
Very good Service 8.1 / 10
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A wacky hotel in Japan from the film Lost in Translation

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If the culture shock is getting to you and you’re starting to feel a little Lost in Translation, then be among friends at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the setting of Sofia Coppola’s Oscar award-winning masterpiece. At a magnificent 52 storeys high, the views showcase Tokyo in all its complexity with bright neon lights and thousands of people. Fans of the movie will appreciate the bar’s melancholic atmosphere and the chance to relive their own first date moments from the film.

As you might expect, each of the rooms are pure luxury with added features such as an iPod dock, complimentary daily newspaper and top-of-the-line Aesop bathroom products for your enjoyment. There’s also a spa, indoor pool and gym for some ‘me time.’

Hotel Park Hyatt Tokyo

Top rated
Tokyo, 15 km to Ajinomoto Stadium
9.3 Excellent (1643 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.7 / 10
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A wacky designer ryokan hotel in Japan

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Tokyo’s first designer ryokan, Andon Ryokan is perfect if you are looking to get the full Japanese experience, complete with tatami floors, futon bedding and communal baths. Yukata, a type of casual summer kimono, are provided on request.

Antique furniture such as traditional heating devices (hibachi) from the Edo and Meiji periods set this Ryokan apart. Sip on one of the complimentary teas, including traditional genmai-cha, or kick-back on the rooftop terrace with spectacular views over the Tokyo Skytree. However, it’s the private Jacuzzi that’s the jewel in this Ryokan’s crown, decorated with spectacular Ariake – tile wall-art – designed by pop artist Mie Ishii.

Andon Ryokan

Top rated
Tokyo, 25.3 km to Ajinomoto Stadium
8.5 Excellent (492 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.1 / 10
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A wacky Godzilla-themed hotel in Japan

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If neither Hello Kitty hotels nor kitsch love hotels are your thing, perhaps it’s time you tried Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. An innocent enough hotel, on first glance it seems pretty standard. Then raise your gaze to the eighth floor where you’ll see the full-scale Godzilla head tearing its way out of the building.

BOOM it’s a Godzilla-themed hotel. The newly-opened rooms include Godzilla View rooms, which allow guests panoramic views of Tokyo’s skyline Godzilla’s head – a bit of a shock if you’re waking up bleary eyed first thing in the morning! Alternatively, go for The Godzilla Room to sleep in the grip of the monster himself. Large-scale figurines from the movie and Godzilla memorabilia are also exclusive to the specially-themed rooms.

Hotel Gracery Ginza

Tokyo, 21.4 km to Ajinomoto Stadium
8.2 Very good (2589 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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A wacky capsule hotel in Japan with a rooftop bar

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This capsule hotel is ideal for those filled with fear about leaving their fitness regime behind when on holiday.  There’s a fully-equipped fitness centre and don’t worry about lugging your trainers and sweaty clothes around with you. You can rent gym or swim gear for no extra cost. Conveniently, there’s also a 24-hour spa and dressing room complete with everything the modern man needs – from nail clippers to hair gel and facial toners.

For the Big Friendly Giants among us the extra-long capsules fitted out with a 13-inch flat screen TV, WiFi and an alarm clock, will dispel any claustrophobia fears. Finally, if you’re single and looking to mingle head over to the popular rooftop bar.

New Japan Capsule Cabana

Osaka, 3.3 km to Bentencho Station
8.3 Very good (514 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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A wacky futuristic capsule hotel in Japan

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Futuristic and utilitarian, this capsule hotel is quite the novelty experience, making you feel like you’re staying in a space ship rather than a hotel. It’s also a great option if you’re travelling with friends since it accepts both men and women.  Towels, lounge-wear and tooth brushes are provided in each locker, so once again you can save on luggage space without sacrificing comfort.

Each capsule is comfortable and self-contained with high-grade linens and a light-based alarm clock. However, it’s the welcoming staff that will make your stay, their friendly advice and tips are sure to help you get the best out of your time in Kyoto!

Nine Hours Kyoto

Kyoto, 8.5 km to Arashiyama bamboo forest
8.2 Very good (2939 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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