Travelling can be an enjoyable experience and it can be a way to give you a new perspective on the world. Sometimes the best plans can still have hiccups and you may find yourself out of a place to sleep. Sometimes you stay out past the last train, or problems happen with hotel reservations, or you may need to spend an unexpected night in a different city. Luckily you will have a few choices to find your emergency bedding. These options will be more available in bigger cities and more populated areas in general, but you will find a few in the more rural places of Japan. Here are a few options you will have in emergency situations.
Capsule hotels have become increasingly more popular over recent years and most tourists find the idea of them interesting. A capsule hotel is basically a small bunk in a room full of other beds. You rest in a small enclosed bed and climb into your capsule for a short rest or a full night. They are convenient and have all the basic amenities you would expect from a hotel. Your capsule is large enough for a single person and doesn’t allow for multiple people in one capsule. There are communal showers, a small area for snacks and drink, and enough room for small luggage. They are cheaper than traditional hotels and can be booked ahead of time but can also be taken on the same day if there are openings. Even though these are great options, you can’t count on there being openings as they are so popular with foreigners and locals.
Karaoke is a large part of Japanese culture and many Japanese do it regularly with friends and coworkers as a way to blow off steam. There a karaoke bars all over Japan and they will usually cost a few thousand yen to reserve a room for a few hours. Once you reserve a room you can do whatever you like, within reason. You will see some Japanese businessmen use the karaoke rooms to rest or take naps when they have a busy day. It is a usual occurrence and you will not be breaking any social norms in the process. The other good thing is that karaoke bars are usually open 24 hours a day. If you find yourself out past the last train times, you can hole up in a karaoke room until it is time for the trains to begin operating again.
Internet and manga cafes are usually located in cities and not as much in rural areas. These places offer rooms that you can rent for hours at a time. You can use them to relax, read manga, watch movies, or even take naps. Some of these places have beds and showers that are meant for people to quickly clean up after a long day or if they don’t have time to go home before work. These places are very convenient and are usually open 24 hours a day. They may occasionally fill up at certain times of the night, but they are generally able to accommodate anyone who needs to use the rooms. You will need to look closely as some shops don’t use English on their signs and will require you to read kanji or find the illustrations that represent manga and entertainment.
Japanese culture is one of privacy and the ability to do what you want without being bothered by, or bothering, other people. Love hotels exist for couples who want to be able to have a room to themselves without disturbing anyone else. It is part of the culture and you can find them all over Japan. These can be used for more than a hot night with your significant other and can be a place that you can use in an emergency if you can’t make your way back to your bed. You will usually find them near the red-light districts of cities and there will be more than one next to each other. They offer different prices for different time frames and the rooms come fully furnished. You will find showers, queen or larger sized beds, televisions, and other things in the rooms as well. You can even find some themed places that have special room decorations and themes in them. They will cost less than a normal hotel and you can find a variety of prices from one hotel to the next. These places will fill up at certain times of the night and may be too full to accept any more visitors. They are great in a pinch, but they will most likely fill up quickly.
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of not having a room or staying out past the last train, you can use these places as solid last resorts. You can’t count on them always being open, but they can be your last chance before having to find a spot on the street or staying up until the trains start running again. They are all usually foreigner-friendly and can be understanding if you can’t do the transaction in Japanese. If you stay calm and try your best to work through the conversation, you should be fine.