Sometimes what happens in Japan stays in Japan, and the “capsule hotel” phenomenon is a prime example. Unlike, say, sushi or the Honda Civic, this is one Japanese invention that hasn’t triggered a stampede of foreign adopters and imitators.
The lack of enthusiasm makes sense to everyone but the Japanese, who see nothing wrong with filling a building with coffin-like sleeping pods in a sort of pay-by-the-night mausoleum. Indeed, in such a compact and crowded country, stacking up Salarymen in this way is one of few practical options.
The capsule hotel idea goes back to 1979, when the first one set up shop in Osaka. Since then they’ve proliferated, and now they come in a range of sizes accommodating anywhere from 50 to 700 guests.
In case you’re wondering, it’s not as if you’re expected to wedge yourself into your snug plastic enclosure and stay there the whole time. Capsule hotels typically feature common areas such as a lounge and bathing/toilet facilities as well as those sleeping pods.
And to be fair, it should be pointed out that the Thermos-style enclosures have amenities the average coffin lacks, such as TV and radio. In fact, maybe “coffin” is too harsh a word—“kennel” might be better. Most importantly, capsule hotels are substantially cheaper than standard hotels. As long as you’re not claustrophobic, that idea is sure to appeal.
The Capsule Inn Akihabara is a high-rise honeycomb of sleeping pods in one of Tokyo’s most wired-up, hyperactive neighborhoods. For a rock-bottom 4,000 yen, they’ll provide you with one of 169 pods (140 for men, 29 for women), each measuring a whopping 1 x 1 x 2 meters. If you can manage to extricate yourself after your night’s sleep without calling the fire department, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of the action.
This is one I have no desire to try out.I have seen them before and even the average Japanese gentleman or lady is granted VERY little room.I don't think we have any reason to fear these will become popular here. The average American is to tall and too fat(including me) to be comfortable in one of these coffins.
Now if you want luxury,Go to a wealthy Chinese persons,cemetery.I have been in some that would rival any mansion,with a full staff of live in servants.Now this I wouldn't mind spending a night or month in.
if you even bothered to watch the video you wouldve noticed it's not actually as small as you imagined. 7 people in the video fitted into one capsule just fine.
It looks actually comfy. And quite futuristic hehe. It reminds me of quite few sci-fi novels where hotels are indeed like this.
It's the size of a bed let's say, it's even bigger then my own bed actually. I'd like to try them some time.
It seems "warm and cosy". I don't think I'd feel claustrophobic, I'd be comfortable. Definitely a good solution to the problem of space, and probably cheaper. Central-Asia, take note.
$40 is kinda steep for these things! In Korea I paid $30 for a large hotel room like at Motel 6, except it came with a 40″ plasma and desktop computer with free internet.
If I wanted to save even more money they I just pay $10 to go visit the spa and they will let you sleep there!
There is quite a difference between costs in Korea and costs in Japan..
Loved the video! 🙂
Well, I wouldn't mind it, if it weren't so expensive. I'd expect a little cheaper for something so small.
But I do like the idea, as long as it is cleaned well.
Eh, I would not mind staying at one if I was given the opportunity. I am a no bigger than those 7 women 🙂
Looks very much like a Portuguese cemetery 'birdcage'! – Gwen McCauley
I wish they had these at the Hong Kong airport where I have spent a number of 12hr+ layovers and the only hotel connected to the airport is around $250 even if you are arriving at midnight, when the airport shuts down, and leaving before checkout time.
They would be fine with me for most short stays, a hotel is pretty much a waste of space and money since I spend virtually no time there except to bathe & sleep.
Dang! I´d NEVER go to that hotel, I´d be stuck right away, ´cause I´m almost 180 pounds.
That's actually quite ingenious. I mean, it's just like enclosed bunk beds with more space. And it's probably perfect for traveling students and non-exec businessmen, or any body seeking cheap vacations.
there are smaller ones and come to think of it
how much space does one need at work or when you sleep
its nice to have a big desk/bed but most of the time
you do not even use the whole space
Norwegian girls ;P
I've seen this hotel before (posted on Listverse on a list of weird hotels) but I have to say they (especially the view from outside) remind of giant microwaves.