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10 of the most unusual hotels in Tokyo

Tokyo has an unusual hotel to suit every taste, whether you want to spend a night in a pod hotel, at an urban onsen, or stay with a Japanese family, says Richard Smart

As featured in our Tokyo city guide

That unique Japanese experience – a night’s sleep in a tiny pod – in the heart of the city. There is very little here to appeal to visitors other than the novelty of doing something very Japanese, but the shared facilities, including a bath and sauna, are clean, and there are lockers for customers carrying a lot of luggage. The hotel is for men only, and – be warned – customers include drunk businessmen who have missed their last train home and are looking for somewhere cheap to stay. Rooms are cramped at two square meters, and have a television for those unable to sleep. A basic restaurant in the hotel also offers cheap snacks and light meals.
3F, 1-2-5 Kabuki-cho Toyo Building, Shinjuku-ku, +81 3 3232 1110ars-shinjuku.com. Capsules from around £30

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10 of the best otaku shops in Tokyo

Japan is a mecca for obsessive geeks or otaku, and Tokyo has shops catering to every obsession, says Patrick Macias, whether you collect anime or manga, action figures or yo-yos

As featured in our Tokyo city guide

Before digital animation took over, Japanese anime was made the old-fashioned way using paint on sheets of celluloid to create “cels”. Over the years, countless cels leaked out of the anime studios into the collector’s market, and thousands of them can now be found at this store within the Nakano Broadway shopping mall. Binders line the walls bulging with one-of-a-kind cels, and smaller bins are outside for casual browsing. Bad news: cels featuring popular characters, such as those from Hayao Miyazaki’s anime movies or the Evangelion series, often go for art gallery prices. Good news: equally striking cels, from less high-profile works, can be had for the price of a fast-food meal.
Nakano Broadway 4F, room 467, Nakano-ku, +81 3 3389 8809 commit.co.jp. Open daily noon-8pm

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