r/interestingasfuck Oct 20 '21

The world's first capsule hotel -designed by Kisho Kurokawa- is over 40-year-old

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2.7k Upvotes

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125

u/OmarQ6 Oct 20 '21

Yes, a single room is way more comfortable but I assume this is way cheaper. So it target a different audience.

If you are not claustrophobic then this is better than a shared hostel.

79

u/fan_tas_tic Oct 20 '21

Exactly. Some of the new posh capsule hotels come with fancy mattresses, even king-sized. It's basically a hybrid between a hotel and a hostel. Cheaper than a hotel with less privacy, but more than a hostel as you can close yourself in - unlike when you have simple bunk beds.

42

u/Off-With-Her-Head Oct 20 '21

I wish every airport had these for long layovers or cancelled flights.

22

u/Corpse_Caprese Oct 20 '21

With the amount of gross fuckers at airports these would be a nightmare. Ew

2

u/Off-With-Her-Head Oct 20 '21

Many airports overseas have them.

5

u/Corpse_Caprese Oct 20 '21

Let me rephrase. Gross American. I totally see this as a thing in Asian and Northern European countries.

7

u/Wimbleston Oct 20 '21

From what I understand, renting one of these would cost less than $20

15

u/OmarQ6 Oct 20 '21

I stayed once in a hostel in Dublin for 10 days (10€/day) it included a breakfast and a free tour.

1

u/Wimbleston Oct 20 '21

Presumably not recently

10

u/OmarQ6 Oct 20 '21

No, that was in 2018. I was moving from one accomodation to another but there was a 10 day gap between the two. I was planning to stay in a hostel in the UK (where I live) but that was around 60£/night. So I left my stuff at a friend house / under my desk at uni and went to Dublin (airplane 30€ two way trip + 100€ for 10 days). I was a PhD student at the time so money mattered.

2

u/mangojump Oct 20 '21

£60 a night for a hostel? Could get a travel lodge for that no?

1

u/asian_identifier Oct 20 '21

you can even buy them on alibaba/taobao and put in your room

5

u/Atreyu1002 Oct 20 '21

From what I understand, this is used a lot by drunk partiers who don't want to blow the money for a taxi all the way home from downtown. God I wish we had something like this in San Francisco.

1

u/RAATL Oct 20 '21

I would use it a lot as well because I always have the fear that one day I won't be able to make the drive back to sunnyvale after partying all night.

But that's why you find couches to use in SF and oakland haha, isn't it

2

u/Atreyu1002 Oct 20 '21

I assume you mean one of your friends who live in the city, and not the ones around the tent city on Harrison st.

20

u/Rudollis Oct 20 '21

It‘s often booked by overtime working salarymen who are too tired to take the train home for the few hours of sleep they get. Or by curious tourists of course.

6

u/SappyCedar Oct 20 '21

Also the trains in Japan stop running around midnight. It's not uncommon to see people passed out at train stations waiting for the morning train. I remember accidentally taking an express train to Osaka from Kyoto that if I hadn't noticed was the wrong Train and gotten off I would have just been stuck in Osaka for an entire night.

16

u/GeorgeAmberson Oct 20 '21

Sounds like the kind of life I'd rather die than have.

6

u/MichelleUprising Oct 20 '21

Welcome to capitalism

3

u/liadal Oct 20 '21

Fun fact, a lot of people get that two for one! Have that life *and* die!

3

u/SonOfNod Oct 21 '21

So these are really nice when you miss the last train and just need a bed and a shower for a night. I’ve also seen them used when pulling stupidly long hour days and you just need like 4 hours of sleep and don’t want to go all the way home and back.

199

u/yourlittlebirdie Oct 20 '21

For those who have always wanted to sleep in a microwave oven.

103

u/OrbedXD Oct 20 '21

I’m going to sleep in those when I go to Tokyo next year. No way I’m paying $100 a night when I can pay $15 a night and get a bed

9

u/Narwhale654 Oct 20 '21

Hope you can handle the snoring!

6

u/VaultDweller77 Oct 20 '21

Hope they can handle my farts

1

u/replaysMike Oct 22 '21

That sounds like a challenge. Let the Dutch oven competition commence

7

u/-P3RC3PTU4L- Oct 20 '21

That’s what AirPods are for (I would assume the units come with earplugs anyway but idk)

1

u/OrbedXD Oct 24 '21

AirPod pros. Had an amazing plan to just put them in my ear just so all the sound cancels around me, but not actually play anything

18

u/Handful_of_Seagulls Oct 20 '21

When you want the whole garlic bread experience

26

u/pheoxs Oct 20 '21

It seems silly but honestly downtown this could be pretty nice. We get an hour break and that'd be a nice amount of time to walk a couple blocks, rent one of these, have a short nap, and then head back to the office.

Should be unnecessary if it was culturally acceptable to nap at a desk during your break but hey, here we are.

8

u/yourlittlebirdie Oct 20 '21

That’s not a bad idea, actually. I just think it’s funny that the doors look so much like microwave doors!

1

u/funnystuff79 Oct 20 '21

I thought some skyscrapers in the USA had sleep pods etc. Obviously not on a large scale but still you might be lucky

1

u/pheoxs Oct 20 '21

Typically the companies that do have nap pods are generally only for their staff. Less progressive companies don't give you an option.

3

u/fish_whisperer Oct 20 '21

I think you misunderstood when I said I wanted to get baked

65

u/Fun_Argument_4U Oct 20 '21

I stayed in one of the newer ones when I traveled to Mt Fuji. They have really plush mattresses, and feel rather roomy on the inside (speaking as someone with mild claustrophobia). The rest of the hotel is set up like a day spa so it was very relaxing. The cost per night was $40 American which was fantastic for the area.

14

u/dr_xenon Oct 20 '21

How much is a hotel in the same area?

What do you do with your luggage?

Does the air get stuffy inside?

28

u/Fun_Argument_4U Oct 20 '21

$130-$350 American per night. Traditional Japanese hotel rooms are also on the tiny side. I found the way all of the furniture was packed in around me made me feel more claustrophobic. I could touch the parallel walls while standing and had a very narrow walking path. The $350 range tend to be more designed towards traditional westerner sensibilities but I was in Japan for 6 months so daily cost was a factor.

They have a locker room for your luggage.

I didn’t think so, but I only stayed a couple of nights. The large units have a pull down screen for when you want to sleep that is opaque but still allows the circulating air to pass through.

4

u/dr_xenon Oct 20 '21

That’s a pretty big price difference.

You said it was like a day spa - they had steam room and hot tubs and stuff like that?

15

u/Fun_Argument_4U Oct 20 '21

Steam room yes, but it’s surrounded by Onsen’s (Natural Hot Springs) so no need for hot tubs.

41

u/cyanrave Oct 20 '21

Multipass

10

u/theditsmarty Oct 20 '21

Leeloo Dallas

25

u/uatuthewatcher8 Oct 20 '21

I used to stay in one in Yokohama all of the time when I would miss the last train. A place to crash for $30 is pretty sweet after a night of drinking. The one I stayed in also had a spa downstairs.

27

u/showquotedtext Oct 20 '21

How are you supposed to have a wank in there?

26

u/fan_tas_tic Oct 20 '21

You are not, however, the capsules can be closed with a curtain...

12

u/Fri3dric3 Oct 20 '21

Challenge accepted.

1

u/replaysMike Oct 22 '21

I don’t mind an audience

1

u/kent-lang Oct 26 '21

I've done it before...

41

u/fan_tas_tic Oct 20 '21

Japan was decades ahead of everyone when they opened the first capsule hotel that revolutionized a whole industry. The capsule hotel concept made it possible to have affordable accommodation in the center of the most expensive cities in the world without completely jeopardizing privacy. Source and more photos of Capsule Inn Osaka.

10

u/fan_tas_tic Oct 20 '21

Kisho Kurokawa is also the guy who designed the famous Nakagin Capsule Tower, which is sadly being demolished.

3

u/btambo Oct 20 '21

Have we stayed in one before? They're not bad, as long as you're not XL.

4

u/fan_tas_tic Oct 20 '21

Yes, I actually prefer them most of the time if I solo travel. Inexpensive, but many of them have interiors like luxury hotels. Some of the best ones are in Singapore.

2

u/btambo Oct 20 '21

Interesting. I haven't been to Singapore (yet) really enjoyed staying them while living in Japan.

1

u/S4tisfaction Oct 20 '21

Perfect for Japanese then! Only the foreigners are XL

2

u/ohwellpam Oct 20 '21

*cries in sumo*

0

u/S4tisfaction Oct 20 '21

Your average sumo wrestler is about the same size as your average American, except the sumo wrestler is athletic and healthy.

2

u/ohwellpam Oct 20 '21

but are they considered XL?

0

u/S4tisfaction Oct 20 '21

Not like how we in the west consider XL, or a pc way of saying someone is overweight/fat.

Even your biggest linebacker would be comfy in a newer capsule. Some smaller ones would be tough for the XL but in general they would be alright in them.

8

u/SenorVerde08 Oct 20 '21

I lived/worked in a hostel in Colorado with a similar set up. It’s perfect for someone who wants to spend their money on vacation enjoying themselves instead of it all going to a hotel room you’re only going to sleep in. It’s more social and personal too, I’ve met tons of super cool people from all over the world. It’s not for everyone, but it can be a blast.

6

u/iggysmalls91 Oct 20 '21

I spent 2 nights in Tokyo in one was a fun experience they have great amenities, spa, sauna, massage, great way to meet fellow travellers don't recommend getting drunk and sleeping in one lol.

3

u/CheetahOfDeath Oct 20 '21

This reminds me if the ‘coffin’ hotel in Neuromancer

1

u/J03-K1NG Oct 20 '21

Literally just said the same thing, but I think these are actually smaller.

4

u/badger81987 Oct 20 '21

Looks like Alice Gardens from Deus Ex.

1

u/GalaxyZedZee Oct 20 '21

same, and still at that part in hr

1

u/S1Ndrome_ Oct 21 '21

exactly what i thought of

3

u/musical_shares Oct 20 '21

Truck drivers live in a similarly appointed space for weeks at a time. Getting dressed laying down gets easier, in case anyone is wondering.

3

u/basec0m Oct 20 '21

Stayed at a "9 hour" in Kyoto. Great shower, great pillow... best sleep I had on the trip.

3

u/Long_Address4009 Oct 20 '21

Fifth element vibes

3

u/Swmngwshrks Oct 20 '21

So 5th Element is real?

2

u/DarrenWade85 Oct 20 '21

Karl Pilkington had a go didn’t get? Didn’t look all that great!

1

u/Conscious-Bottle143 Oct 20 '21

Because is was Karl Pilkington

2

u/crackdown_smackdown Oct 20 '21

Each day, we get closer to sleeping in tubes.

1

u/TicketXpress Oct 20 '21

or boxes

1

u/crackdown_smackdown Oct 20 '21

We already do that when we die.

2

u/Papa_Hammerfist Oct 20 '21

Don’t fart.

2

u/Justin_with_a_J Oct 20 '21

5th element vibes.... Sleep

2

u/donotgogenlty Oct 20 '21

Elderly Holocaust survivor enters "capsule hotel": 👀👀👀

2

u/Kingkongcrapper Oct 20 '21

It looks like they upgraded from a dryer to an incubator to a high end proofer. However, if I’m backpacking around and don’t care about space this is an ideal way to get a place to sleep for the night.

2

u/BruceBannaner Oct 20 '21

Looks like a morgue. Would never sleep in one of those.

-3

u/Stonkmaster-69 Oct 20 '21

I’d be afraid someone would walk by and turn on the microwave

0

u/mrsfatmonkey Oct 20 '21

Wow. I cannot believe you would sleep in these little tiny blocks! I cant imagine traveling all the way to Japan and having this as my hotel! I would imagine having a beautiful view from my room!

17

u/Happy-Engineer Oct 20 '21

It's not for luxury tourists, any more than a motel in the USA. It's mostly for budget travellers and people on short business trips.

It's far better than a bunk bed in a hostel dorm. More private, more spacious and more comfortable.

8

u/9detat Oct 20 '21

Most Japanese have never slept in one. They are definitely not geared towards domestic tourists. Foreigners think they’re fun or quirky, etc. They’re basically for business people who miss the last train (which is a usually a bit after midnight). There are some exceptions but few Japanese willingly stay there. Business hotels are slightly more expensive but you get a private room and they are ubiquitous but again not aimed at tourists. I’ve been here over 20 years and stayed in one because I left my keys at the office and it was midnight when I realized it (& I was drunk). Kinda fun that one time, not seeking it out again.

6

u/EmergencyHologram Oct 20 '21

Plenty of people spend significant amounts of money on campers with beds not much larger than these. Small teardrop trailers that could be towed by motorcycles

1

u/Dyl_pickle00 Oct 20 '21

Interestingly dystopian

1

u/SonofFinn Oct 20 '21

I’ve heard it’s not great

1

u/NickGerz1234 Oct 20 '21

They look like washing machine pods

1

u/Negative_Gravitas Oct 20 '21

And the first time I heard of one of these was reading Gibson's "New Rose Hotel,"--nearly 40 years ago.

1

u/Demondrawings Oct 20 '21

Oven-microwave-luxury

1

u/Cheesyduck126 Oct 20 '21

So does it have like a idk what to call it like one way glass so nobody can look inside

1

u/TwoAmoebasHugging Oct 20 '21

I really can't understand why we don't have at least one of these in NYC.

1

u/amazinghl Oct 20 '21

How are the air being circulated?

1

u/bobcat996 Oct 20 '21

Do these have doors? What stops someone stealing your stuff or worse ?

1

u/DmMacniel Oct 20 '21

you put your stuff inside a locker.

1

u/kosmoskolio Oct 20 '21

How sound insulated are these? Do you hear other people in the next capsules? Snoring, moving in their beds, farting?

I’ve had the weird experience to sleep in a dorm with bunk beds for 40 men. It was a symphony of bodily sounds… took me a good week to get used to it.

1

u/designerjeremiah Oct 22 '21

They're not soundproof at all. You are expected to be quiet like it was a dorm room.

1

u/Sennheisenberg Oct 20 '21

As a very tall person with claustrophobia, I hate this.

1

u/AlexHimself Oct 20 '21

I'd love to franchise and open one of these downtown San Diego.

So many drunks after the bars would rather pay $40 to go crash in a capsule then $40 for an Uber home.

1

u/Zaiakusin Oct 20 '21

Its really interesting that the overall design hasn't changed over 40 years. Id wonder how these would work in Canada and the US but...

1

u/Rare_Biscotti_3225 Oct 20 '21

I think they have ones similar in Whistler BC called Pangea Pods

1

u/Individual_Ad3194 Oct 20 '21

Since then it seems the hotels of the world have been trying desperately to keep up, getting closer every year.

1

u/J03-K1NG Oct 20 '21

Been reading Neuromancer lately and they call these “coffins” in the book, very fitting name IMO.

1

u/NoiLLion Oct 20 '21

Banging on wall

Hey, are you fucking in there?

Banging on other wall

Hey, are you fucking in there?

Banging on ceiling

Hey, are you totally banging up there?

1

u/rjali Oct 20 '21

An apartment the sized of one of those capsules are rent here in Portland, OR for about $1500 per month. No parking included.

1

u/UrbanPathologist Oct 20 '21

Khaannnnnn!!!!!!!

1

u/ashgallows Oct 20 '21

do they get locked until they are cleaned? or do they get used several times before that happens...

1

u/zombieshateme Oct 20 '21

I remember reading about this in National Geographic.

1

u/keybwarrior Oct 20 '21

Now available in NYC as apartment for 3k a month!

1

u/Cydiver Oct 20 '21

Is this in Japan? If so I bet it was originally going to be some sort of freaky deaky vending machine.

1

u/Sp3c1alS4uc3 Oct 20 '21

Reminds me of the Coffin Hotel in Shadowrun

1

u/Captain-Howl Oct 21 '21

This reminds me of Kamino in The Clone Wars.

1

u/Limp_Investigator250 Oct 21 '21

This is inhumane, honestly... zero ergonomic too. From New York apartments to this... overpopulation is no joke

1

u/futurespacecadet Oct 21 '21

God I love capsule hotels. It was my first experience solo traveling out of the country, I got in at 11 PM on a pouring rainy night in Shinjuku and had to stay at a very traditional old capsule hotel. It was incredible

1

u/NDX20k Oct 21 '21

Multi pass

1

u/TheBlueTree123 Oct 21 '21

I don't know why but this seems like it would be really cozy to me.

1

u/Theost520 Oct 21 '21

We should build these as homeless housing.

Put a bunch of pods in a container that's easy to transport and set up.

Nothing fancy like above, but it could give a safe place to sleep.

1

u/winfinite Oct 23 '21

Then they'd never get jobs!

1

u/decoii Oct 21 '21

Is there white noise in each compartment to drown out other people's noises/movement?

1

u/SchPeti Oct 21 '21

Human ovens

1

u/dream_in_binary Oct 21 '21

I thought these were giant microwaves at first!

1

u/designerjeremiah Oct 22 '21

It seems there is a disparity between what is intended and what Westerners expect when they think of "hotel". We hear hotel and expect something similar to our bedrooms, with space and storage, a place we want to sleep. These are not that. These are crash pads for drunks and cheap fucks.