Capsule Hotels

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Capsule hotels (カプセルホテル) are known as a unique high density hotel system in Japan. The size of the space given to each guest is reduced to a small modular block made of fiberglass that is roughly 2m x 1m x 1.25m, proving only enough room to sleep.

These capsules will often feature a television an electronic console, and wireless internet for guests as well. Stacked side by side and two units high with steps to reach the higher rooms, they can accommodate many more guests this way at a more affordable rate for places like Tokyo. Luggage is held in a locker elsewhere in the hotel and privacy is ensured by a curtain or fiberglass door at the opening of the capsule. Communal washrooms, restaurants, vending machines, and pools are often provided for group use. While it has developed in Japan as a viable alternative to less space and more people, it has not caught on in other countries.

The exact size of the hotels themselves varies greatly, with some holding as few as 50 capsules and others as many as 700. For the most part, they are used by men and most will have separate quarters for men and women for the sake of privacy. Towels are provided, as are slippers and yukatas in some cases and the average rate per night is between 2000 and 4000 yen. For the most part, those who partake of Capsule Hotels are businessmen who cannot make it home that night or those who stayed out too late and need a place to sleep only.

The first such Capsule Hotel was opened in Osaka by Kisho Kurokawa on February 1, 1979 with a room rate of 1600 Yen.

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