After backpacking through more than 30 countries as a university student, Keiji-san recognized a lack of inexpensive guesthouses in Kyoto and so opened Tour Club ( in 2000 with rooms for two to four people, followed in 2003 with Budget Inn ( in a converted apartment building offering eight tatami rooms for three to five persons. His latest project was the 2010 opening of the world's first tatami capsule hotel, with tiny compartments complete with futon, TV, Wi-Fi, and—thank goodness—earplugs, because there are only screens for privacy. Be forewarned that there's no separation of the sexes. Travelers with a bit more yen might spring for the "ryokan ensuite" rooms, which are slightly larger than a closet and have futuristic-looking shower cylinders in a corner plus sink and toilet. In any case, all three facilities ensure guests get the most out of their stay by providing sightseeing and dining recommendations, maps showing locations of nearby restaurants, and supermarkets, as well as free coffee and tea in the communal kitchen, and kimono guests can try on for free.