Tokyo accommodation: Capsule hotel offers unique sleep and sauna stay for women

Do-C provides Löyly and a warm pillar for an authentic Finnish sauna experience you won’t find anywhere else in Japan.

Capsule hotels abound in Japan, and we’ve experienced everything from anime hunks to samurai-style hubs in Tokyo. Now though, there’s a new type of capsule stay experience about to catch on, with the enticing promise of sauna + sleep.

Called , or Do-C, the hotel takes its name from a combination of the Japanese word for “temperature” (“do”) and Celsius, highlighting their dedication to warming the body before sleep. This is what really sets them apart from other establishments, because here they offer something that no other capsule hotel has in Tokyo at the moment: an authentic Finnish sauna experience.

Our Japanese-language reporter Momo decided to spend a night at their Ebisu hotel recently (they also have a location at Gotanda), and she was pleasantly surprised with the unusual lodgings. The free space area was stylish and spacious, and had things like electric sockets, benches and tables for guests to use while eating or working on a laptop.

After checking in and paying, Momo received two keys – one for a private locker and the other for the women’s areas. Do-C occupies floors 2-9 in the building, with the women’s sleeping quarters located on floors 7 and 8 and the women’s sauna and shower on the ninth floor.

Momo went to find her sleeping berth, and was happy to find she was in a top-row capsule. She climbed up to her hole-in-the-wall for the night and was pleasantly surprised by what she found. There was a pillow, a quilt, a light, and a wall outlet with a USB port, an electric socket, and a switch to control the light and air-conditioning.

Being 157-centimetres (5.15-feet) tall, this was a roomy capsule for Momo, and while there was no television inside, that just worked to remind her that Do-C is all about sauna and sleep.

After getting acquainted with her capsule, Momo decided to head out to try the sauna experience for herself. She went back to the locker area, which had private lockers with keys and spaces for storing luggage.

Here she gathered up her amenity set, which included a cloth bag, slippers, wash towel, bath towel, a toothbrush, and some comfy loungewear, before setting off to the sauna area on the ninth floor.

When she arrived at the sauna, Momo realised that Do-C really was serious about offering an authentic Finnish sauna experience. While many capsule hotels offer communal bathing, Momo was surprised to see that there was no bath here; only showers. This sign next to the door to the washroom area gave her an idea of the setup inside.

Momo wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the sauna area, so she decided to illustrate her experience through the power of sketch. First she showered, then she stepped into the sauna, which was big enough to fit 12 people, and sat on a towel on one of the wooden benches inside. It was 90-degrees Celsius here, and there were sauna stones and water fragranced with mint for guests to experience “Löyly”, which is the steam that comes from throwing water on hot stones in a sauna.

When Momo stepped outside, she was confronted with the “Warm Pillar”, a shower setup manufactured by renowned Japanese toilet and bathroom manufacturer Toto. The warm pillar consisted of five different showers, each providing a stream of water set at varying temperatures, ranging from 15 degrees Celsius up to 30 degrees Celsius and “room temperature”.

She sat under one of the showers and pressed the button. She was expecting the water to stream out in a soft spray like a normal shower, so she was surprised when it came out more like the water from a sink faucet. The steady stream of water was something Momo had never experienced before, and while she loved the sensation on her skin, she was a little concerned with the way it cooled her back but left her stomach and thighs warm. Still, she was new to this type of experience, so she figured she might just be doing it wrong. 

One other thing that was a little concerning was the fact that her locker and sauna key was attached to a wrist band, much like how it’s done at a Japanese hot spring. However, one of the keys was left uncovered, which meant that the metal became incredibly hot to touch in the sauna, making it impossible to wear.

After leaving the sauna area feeling fully refreshed, Momo decided to create a list of tips for women wanting to visit the capsule hotel. Firstly, she recommends bringing moisturising lotion and makeup remover as these weren’t provided. Also, an eye mask is a necessity for those who prefer to sleep in darkness, due to the fact that the capsule shutter doesn’t block out the light from outside.

Also, large suitcases can be a bit of a hassle here, seeing as there’s no lift from the ground floor up to the reception area on the second floor.

Lastly, in the morning when you go to check out, the elevators can be busy so it may take some time to get down to the reception desk from the women’s floors. It’s best to leave a little earlier to avoid staying past the checkout time.

If you manage to keep these points in mind, Momo thinks you’ll have an excellent time at Do-C. She had a really sound sleep and woke up feeling rested and refreshed the next day. She also decided to have a sauna at night and in the morning as well, to really get the most out of her stay, and when asked to rate the capsule hotel out of five stars, this was the result:

Cosiness:★★★★
Price:★★★★★
Amenities:★★
Women’s Peace of Mind:★★★★

All this for 3,990 yen (US$35.43) made Momo a very happy customer!

Capsule Hotel Information:

℃ / ドシー(℃)恵比寿店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 1-8-1
東京都渋谷区恵比寿1-8-1
Website (English)

Photos © SoraNews24  

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