Capsule hotel

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Capsules in Osaka
The box in the upper left foreground is the TV, which is controlled via the panel in the left background. This panel also controls the light and the air conditioning. On the right wall is a mirror and the air conditioning inlet in the top 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, drawing some comparisons to corpse drawers in a morgue.[1] 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.[2] Some hotels also provide restaurants (or at least vending machines), pools, and other entertainment facilities.[3] Capsule hotels vary in size, from fifty or so capsules to 700, and they are used primarily by men.[4] 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 (USD 25-50) 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.[5] 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.[6] This style of hotel has not gained wide popularity outside of Japan, although Western variants known as "pod hotels"[7] 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, Japan. It opened in 1979.[8][9]

In 2012, China opened its first capsule hotel in Xi'an.[10] Singapore's "Woke Home" is a capsule hostel.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]