Capsule hotel

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Capsules in Osaka
View in a capsule, with a television in the upper left corner

A capsule hotel (カプセルホテル kapuseru hoteru?) is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of extremely small "rooms" (capsules) intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels.

Description[edit]

The guest room is a modular plastic or fiberglass block roughly 2 by 1 by 1.25 m (6 ft 7 in by 3 ft 3 in by 4 ft 1 in). Facilities differ, but most include a television, an electronic console, and wireless internet connection. The capsules are stacked side-by-side, two units high, with steps providing access to the second level rooms. The open end of the capsule can be closed, for privacy, with a curtain or a fibreglass door. Luggage is stored in a locker; and washrooms are communal. Guests are asked not to smoke or eat in the capsules.[1] Some hotels also provide restaurants (or at least vending machines), pools, and other entertainment facilities.[2]

Capsule hotels vary in size, from fifty or so capsules to 700, and they are used primarily by men.[3] Some capsule hotels offer separate sections for male and female guests. Clothes and shoes are sometimes exchanged for a yukata and slippers on entry. A towel may also be provided. The benefit of these hotels is convenience and price, usually around ¥2000-4000 a night. They provide an alternative for those who (especially on weeknights) may be too drunk to return home safely, or too embarrassed to face their spouses.[4] With continued recession in Japan, as of early 2010, more and more guests - roughly 30% at the Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 in Tokyo - were unemployed or underemployed and were renting capsules by the month.[5]

This style of hotel has not gained wide popularity outside of Japan, although Western variants known as "pod hotels"[6] have been developed, with larger accommodations and often private baths.

History[edit]

The first capsule hotel to open was the Capsule Inn Osaka, designed by Kisho Kurokawa and located in the Umeda district of Osaka. It opened in 1979.[7][8]

In 2012, China opened its first capsule hotel in Xi'an.[9] Singapore's "Woke Home" is a capsule hostel.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solomon, Leonard (1997). Japan in a Nutshell. Top Hat Press, 115-166. ISBN 0-912509-06-6.
  2. ^ Schreiber, Mark, "Back to the future of a 'hotel for 2001'", The Japan Times, 16 January 2011, pp. 7–8.
  3. ^ "Accommodation in Japan". Japan-guide.com. 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  4. ^ Wardell, Steven (October 1994), "Capsule cure". Atlantic Monthly. 274 (4):42-47.
  5. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko. "For Some in Japan, Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk", The New York Times, 2010-01-01. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.
  6. ^ Fodor's Editors (December 31, 2007). "Pod Hotels: Small, Stylish, and Cheap". Fodors.com. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Capsule Inn Osaka" (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Kotobuki Corporation History" (in Japanese). Kotobuki Corporation. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "China's first capsule hotel opens in Xi'an | CNN Travel". Cnngo.com. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  10. ^ "Woke Home Hostel, Singapore, Singapore: Book Now!". Hostelbookers.com. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 

External links[edit]