Sleep Tight

A young woman sleeps on a bench in a park

Deep asleep in Sapporo, Hokkaido

Hopefully that should provide enough alternatives to satisfy even the most choosy traveller – but if not there are a few other options: youth hostels, all night restaurants, government run ‘citizens lodges’, super sento, monthly mansions (actually tiny apartments – and usually rentable by the day or week as well as by the month), rental cottages and even nojuku (sleeping rough – a traditional option that still remains viable given Japan’s low crime rate and mild climate). One point to be aware of is that most accommodations have a check-in time you can’t arrive before (usually late afternoon) – and a check-out time you must leave by (normally 10am). The key difference with other countries is that these rules are applied strictly – so if you sleep in you’re likely to be charged extra, and even if you’ve just arrived after a long-haul overnight flight, don’t expect that a bit of begging and pleading will get you access to the room any earlier. (And believe me, I’m speaking from personal experience on both counts.) Also, bear in mind that credit cards are not so widely used in Japan – big hotels will take them – but don’t count on them being accepted everywhere.

Luxury Hotel


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