Capsule Hotel

capsule hotel tokyo


A capsule hotel is a type of hotel with a large number of extremely small ‘rooms’ (capsules) intended to provide cheap and basic overnight accommodation for guests not requiring the services offered by more conventional hotels. The guest space is reduced in size to a modular plastic or fiberglass block roughly 2 m by 1 m by 1.25 m. Most include a television, an electronic console, and wireless internet connection. Capsules are stacked side by side and two units top to bottom, with steps providing access to the second level rooms. Luggage is stored in a locker. Privacy is ensured by a curtain or a fiberglass door at the open end of the capsule. Washrooms are communal and some hotels include restaurants (or at least vending machines), pools, and other entertainment facilities.

This style of hotel accommodation was developed in Japan and has not gained popularity outside of the country, although Western variants known as ‘Pod hotels’ with larger accommodations and often private baths are being developed. Guests are asked not to smoke or eat in the capsules. Capsule hotels vary widely in size, some having only fifty or so capsules and others over 700. Many are used primarily by men. There are also capsule hotels with separate male and female sleeping quarters. Clothes and shoes are sometimes exchanged for a yukata (a casual summer kimono) and slippers on entry. A towel may also be provided. The benefit of these hotels is convenience and price, usually around ¥2000-4000 (US$26–52) a night.

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