New unmanned hotel opens in Japan that requires check in and check out by Suica train card only
It’s just like boarding the train, except you’ll be sleeping here.
You may have heard of hotels in Japan run by robots, but now even the robots are gone. Hotel B4T Iwaki utilizes a new concept of streamlining the entire check in and check out process to just your IC train card. The hotel opened on January 15, 2023, and it’s right above JR Iwaki Station in Fukushima Prefecture. That means you can hop right off the train and straight into bed!
▼ There it is, attached to the right of JR Iwaki Station.
Here’s how the process works: first, you must reserve a room in advance, and reservations are only available online — including same-day reservations. When making a reservation, you’ll also enter your IC train card information (if you don’t have one already, now’s the time to get one!).
▼ No talking necessary? Perfect for introverts or super tired people.
When you arrive at the hotel, touch your Suica card or mobile Suica at the check-in kiosk, touch your card once more at the main security entrance, and touch your card one last time at your room.
▼ It also comes with lockers.
▼ There are also private booths for working or just hanging out.
“But what if I need something or something goes wrong?” you may be thinking. Staff are available around the clock via text-based chat or video chat (excludes cabin-type rooms). Other services include a free storage locker, amenities at the amenity station, Wi-Fi, an ice maker, microwaves, and vending machines.
There are fives types of rooms available in Hotel B4T Iwaki: cabin type, single rooms, twin rooms, deluxe twin rooms, and universal twin rooms.
▼ Cabin type
The no frills, capsule-type cabin rooms are divided into male-only and female-only areas. Cabin types don’t have a bathroom, but they do have a mini fridge, a desk, a safety box, and a mobile charger. At the time of publishing this article, these rooms can be as cheap as 3,300 yen (US$25.43) per night without breakfast or 4,500 yen with breakfast.
▼ Single room
These cozy and private rooms come with a shower, toilet, refrigerator, electric kettle, and several other useful amenities. They currently start at 5,800 yen without breakfast or 7,000 yen with breakfast.
▼ Twin room
The twin rooms have two beds, more space, and a TV in addition to many of the same amenities as the single room. They start at 13,300 yen a night without breakfast and 14,500 yen with.
▼ Deluxe twin room and Universal twin room
This one has–you guessed it–more space! It’s essentially a bigger version of the twin room. The deluxe twin rooms are priced at 16,300 yen a night without breakfast and 17,500 yen with; and the universal twin rooms, complete with barrier-free bathrooms, are 14,300 a night without breakfast or 15,500 yen with.
The breakfast, you ask? You can choose from a Western-style or a Japanese-style breakfast at H’s Kitchen Mahaloa located on the third floor. Even if your plan doesn’t include breakfast, you can still chow down there — they accept cash!
▼ Western-style breakfast
▼ Japanese-style breakfast
A few notes: all rooms are non-smoking, but there are smoking rooms within the hotel available. Prices for rooms can also jump to twice the amounts listed above on weekends and holidays, so plan carefully if you want a good deal!
If you don’t have plans to visit Fukushima in the near future, you may be in luck — Hotel B4T plans to open two more hotels in 2023, and they’ll be located around Tokyo. Stay tuned for more updates!
Sources: Asahi Shimbun Digital, Hotel B4T Iwaki
Images: Hotel B4T Iwaki
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