I came across this hotel when I was googling on capsule hotel in Japan. An article on world special lodging mentioned First Cabin and instantly I clicked on the link.
The website shows a night stay starting from Y4,800 per person but luckily we managed to secure a cheaper rate at Y3650 per person from Booking.com. Without much hesitation, we placed booking for our first night stay in Japan.
When the day finally came, we took exit 13 from Osaka Namba (Nankai-Namba) station as mentioned on the First Cabin’s website. Not only it was so freaking cold, there was wind blowing onto our bodies too.. so much so that I hopped around to warm my body up. Thankfully I saved the map of our guesthouses in my phone, else we had to dig our bag in cold weather to take out the printed maps.
We took the left turn and walked towards the crossroad. Unsure of our direction at that time, we asked a Japanese lady for her help. She had a look at the map and then looked up at the buildings around us. Tho she spoke in Japanese, I can tell that she said that she wasn’t sure of the location but she felt it’s in this direction – her hand pointed straight road across the busy road as she spoke. She even asked us to keep left and the hotel is on the left side.
So we did what she said. After thanking her for her kind time in assisting us, we crossed the road, walked straight and kept looking at our left. As we walked towards the end of the road, fear arose as we thought we’ve misinterpreted her. That’s when we spotted the First Cabin’s signboard.
The building looks new and classy. We walked in and to our surprised there are only two lifts on 1st floor (1st floor is the ground floor in Japan). There’s a sign on the left indicating the levels and the tenants of the buildings. We searched for First Cabin. It’s on 4th floor.
We went up the lift and when the lift door opened at 4th floor, two receptionists greeted us with broad smiles from the reception table. We did our check-in and paid 7665 yen in total for two pax per night inclusive of the 5% VAT. Then the male and female receptionist explained to Satkuru and me respectively on our cabin number and also our bathroom floor. My cabin is located on 4th floor but female’s bathroom located on 3rd floor and the male’s bathroom located on 6th floor while his cabin is on 5th floor if I’m not wrong. After explaining, they gave us our keys and card to access our room.
My adrenaline was pumping like mad that time as I was so excited to see my cabin! But before we parted, we agreed on the time to meet the next morning and bid each other goodnight.
I scanned my card and the door opened. With my red luggage bag behind me, I went to look for my cabin, number 459. There are numbers and signs written on the wall, and I obediently followed the direction. I turned left and found myself surrounded by cabins on both sides. I walked further down and apparently my cabin is located at the end of the corridor, right beside the room with a ‘Telephone’ sign.
I pulled the curtain open and there is it – my cosy cabin. I pulled my luggage into the cabin and without wasting any time, I took out my camera and started snapping around.
A TV at the end of the bed; main light, air-cond, TV switches, power socket as well as headphone strategically placed on the wall is within an arm reach when you lie on the bed.
Right beside the bed, there’s a round table with a humidifier, tissue box and a paper vase filled with complimentary toothbrush, face towel, plastic comb, and slippers. Oh ya, there’s a locker drawer underneath the bed which I didn’t know until Satkuru told me. Hmm.
On the bed, there are pajamas (what they called, cabin wear) and a big towel.
Wearing the cabin’s slippers, off to the bathroom with the Cabin’s toothbrush, towel, and cabin wear. One doesn’t have to bring other toiletries to the bathroom if stays here because they are all provided.
As for the cabin, there’s no door lock as there’s no door. So to seal the cabin, you got to pull the curtain to the other end and align it to the magnetic strip at the side until you hear a ‘tap’ sound. Two tap sounds in fact.
Following the sign, I was about to walk down the stairs when I spotted a rack with only one pillow left. The rack has a sign – something like ‘Feel free to take’ and I immediately grabbed one and put it in my cabin. Then I continued my walk down the stairs to the bathroom.
There’s a chat/relax are’ too but I didn’t go and check them out as it was already late.
There’s a spa beside the bathroom, but the spa was closed that time. It was already near midnight when I went to the bathroom, so I quickly put my slippers at the shoe rack provided. Inside there are rows of dressing tables with large mirrors (the vanity area) on my left and white racks with baskets (the dressing area) on my right. The place looks clean and tidy and bright!
Disclaimer: I took these pictures using my iPhone when there wasn’t anyone around. It was 12.30 am that time!
Ohya, there was a Japanese girl drying her hair at the vanity area when I entered at that time.
Seeing this, I felt sense of familiarity and I know this is the communal bathroom, not the cubicle type. Luckily I’ve been to onsen before, else I would feel super darn shy and in culture shock.
Communal bath rule number 1: No swimming suit and undergarment in the hot pool. Not even towel, only small/face towel is allowed.
Communal bath rule number 2: You have to bath first before getting into the hot pool.
From my understanding, this is to prevent temperature shock on your skin when you enter the pool. The temperature of the hot pool is nearly 40 degree Celsius (if I’m not wrong) and that’s why you need to shower with similar water temperature first before entering.
Inside the bathing area, I went to the first stall and placed my towel on top of the divider. I know I should put them on the hook near the sauna area but I was too shy to walk across with another girl showering there. I looked at the water faucet and adjusted to the pre-determined temperature mode of 40 degree Celsius.
If you notice the brand of the toiletries provided there, they are all by Shisedo and the quality is real good. I washed my hair with the hair shampoo and the hair conditioner provided. Normally if I were to use the provided hair shampoo in other countries (or even in our country), my hair would be tangled like mad. But this one leaves my hair smooth and silky.
After washing, I went into the pool and dipped myself. It was so, so, so relaxing. However, I spent about 10 minutes in the pool only and it was getting late and I needed to wake up at 6.30am later.
So I got out of the pool, put on the cabin wear, put on the facial stuff provided by the Cabin (they’re all good so you don’t have to worry about using them) and blew dry my hair. Then off to bed I went.
The bed is comfy and but the temperature in the cabin annoys me a little. Even though I’ve turned the air fan switch to maximum, I still felt stuffy and would prefer the temperature to be lower. Nevertheless, I fell asleep too as I was too tired from the 7 hours flight earlier. However about 10 minutes later, I heard a cell-phone rang and a girl answered it, which followed by a big bang and soft sobbing. Slightly annoyed but shocked, I was too tired to bother much about it and thus continued sleeping.
Speaking about the noise, one got to be discreet in moving around as the cabin is not entirely sealed up. I felt bad taking out my plastic bags and walking around as the crumbling and squeaking were quite hearable.
At 6.30am, the cabin’s alarm went off. It was a soft ringing, but loud enough to wake you up from your deep sleep. I went to shower, packed my stuff and then checked out from First Cabin. For my first night in Japan, this place is indeed a great experience and a total first class sleep for the price I paid.
As we were getting to Kyoto, it’s only dawn to us that First Cabin is located above Subway Namba station.