In Japan, there are lodging options for all tastes and pockets and, as usual, we must differentiate between the Japanese style accommodation and western style.
Despite a European is that much more comfortable staying in a hotel Westernized personally recommends, if only for one night, try the particularities of the ryokan, which are traditional Japanese hotels.
A ryokan is basically like a small hotel or pension, and are of different kinds, although they have a division as clear as the stars of our hotels, so usually we have to guide us for the price.
Regardless of their level, they all consist of a room without beds something that increases the feeling of space and where we will sleep on the floor covered with tatami mats. We always find, in a corner or in the closet, wrapped with soft mattresses and sheets and only stretching it will need to sleep, because ‘the bed’ has been rolled itself once it is made. Depending on what ‘traditional’ to be the chosen ryokan can find other features, such as pillows filled with rice hulls which, incidentally, and contrary to what one imagines, are quite comfortable. Also depending on the characteristics of the accommodation we have extras like a TV, tea … But what may surprise a European is that even the most senior ryokan usually have shared bathrooms and what’s more: some are famous because of this nature.
Indeed, in Japan there is a strong tradition of public toilets that are configured as ‘spa’, sorted according to the characteristics of its thermal waters and sometimes offer accommodation. Regarding the bathrooms, whether they are shared as if they are private, must take into account several things to not ‘offend’ their owners and other users. In the case of a private bathroom, whether shared or not is, the dynamics are similar. The normal thing is to find those responsible for the bathtub filled with hot water ryokan at dusk, and showering out of the tub, conveniently seated before accessing it.
One of the advantages of these baths is that it allows access to entire families something interesting if you are traveling with children, which is coupled to the showers also used to be more than one water outlet for use in groups. It is very important that under no circumstances should empty the tub, because it may offend our host, who was in charge of keeping it warm for us. Getting back to the accommodation, you should know that it is also possible to stay overnight in some temples, but is harder to find those that offer this option unless you know the language.
As for Western style hotels there is little to say other than that are usually more expensive and you have to watch if you are looking for a bed, and sometimes offered as a double bed of 1.30 meters. It is also interesting to note the existence of so-called Business Hotels, which offer single spartan and cheap enough so that businessmen spend nights loose. Even apartments can be rented for weeks that are cheaper but not provide the possibility of having a kitchen.
But other options are sleeping most curious. The capsule hotels kapuseru hoteru pronounced are surely the most famous. This is a niche kind of individual radio and television that are rented by the hour during the day or nights on a very reasonable price. They all have background music or radio, TV and shared bathrooms. There are also classes that will distinguish the price-and most importantly: there are only men and mixed some of the mixed even have double-sized capsules.
Obviously the capsules are not suitable for claustrophobic.
Another type of hotel frequented by tourists rather curious is the Love Hotels, pronounced hoteru rabu. They are simply the equivalent of the Spanish meublés, couples who come to Japan many of them are married-to satisfy their fantasies.
Each room is usually decorated with a variety of reasons, not always a common theme erotic can be Hello Kitty, which clearly highlights the cultural differences and paradoxes.
Usually very discreet and even many of them are only accessible by car. The day rates are per hour, so if you spend the night must be taken not to sleep, especially since the morning hours are the most expensive.
But possibly the strangest option, and cheaper, to spend the night are the Internet café or coffee delivered Manga Manga kissa.
Forget the concept of a café with internet access we have here. In Japan, an internet cafe has everything you need to distract and sleep. They are usually a few establishments where 12 or 20 euros you can spend the night and where you can find everything you want to entertain: internet, manga, TV, DVD, food, including billiards, darts, ping pong…
Apart from entertainment rooms offer individual or group with a computer consoles … and a sofa for the night. When you pay you get a blanket to sleep to use the showers must ask that hour and cleaned between clients.
This accommodation is used by people with fewer resources to spend nights away from home or workers also lost the last train, but you can always find some tourist or someone who has drunk too much and need some sleep before moving on .