By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Cities
Would you sleep in a sleek, spotless hotel room that's no bigger than a tent? At 9 Hours hotel in Tokyo, you won't waste an inch.
At the 9 Hours capsule hotel in Tokyo, travelers get Japanese service and precision without paying for all the wasted space of a traditional hotel room.
"Capsule" hotel, of course, because each person gets just enough space to sleep.
Amenities for the hotel were designed by Fumie Shibata of Design Studio S, and cater to the ultra-dense traveling populations of Asian cities such as Tokyo, the world's most populous metropolitan area.
At nine stories tall, the hotel hosts 125 capsules, as well as locker rooms, showers and a lounge. Each capsule has a light system designed by tech giant Panasonic that allows you to wake up without requiring any noise.
The hotel is the work of parent company Cubic Corp., and was first unveiled in Dec. 2009.
Here's a look, in a video from Monocle:
Apr 1, 2010
I love this concept. There is a time and a place for everything. I love the fact that you can have a minimalist environment that is not cheap and dirty. I would definitely stay here. I do concur, however, that it would be nice to offer couples capsules also for those of us who are traveling in pairs.
It's cool to see that these are expanding. I first saw them reported on about 10yrs ago. I beleive the first one was in a train station in Japan. I also liked the idea brought up about using them in self-contained cargo containers to be brought into flood, quake, etc. areas. But, I wouldn't call them coffin rooms, it puts folks off.
i would definitely love this. i have designed such a cocoon in my head many years before but later i thought it was just another gateway to anti-social behavior.
My own reation and the reactions of most other posters reflects the 'bigger is better' mentality of us Americans. Having a lot of physical space in America, unlike most other European and Asian contries, we seem to have a much larger area of 'personal space'. What is also interesting is how this seems to be billed as a kind of 'luxury' hotel. There is a definate use, maybe even need, for something like this in large, crowded cities. But most people in America will pay for the space.
Great idea, but if it would come to america, i see it being nice idea, for a short time, then it would degenerate into something seedy, the way americans degenerate many things, this would be just another one, in the long line of degeneracy. Great idea, but not for america! Perhaps another homogenious society, like korea, places in eastern europe, but like i said not in america!
While there is certainly a place for such facilities in the hospitality industry--primarily for the kind of "emergency" use they were designed for in Japan, that is not the best place to use them to their full potential. Envision a number of large shipping containers arriving in to a disaster area. (By truck, train, boat, air or pulled by men and ropes....) Some have showers, designed to use minimal water and recycle for other purposes--even purify it. Some have a kitchen. Some have food. Some are clinic/hospital/first aid (depending upon needs.) Most have coffin rooms. Some have generators. Some have materials to put together temporary larger gathering places. Such a camp could be flown in by helicopter and placed in a disaster area to provide services to those living there in a matter of hours. The coffin rooms provide a safe, climate-controlled place to sleep which can be used by three shifts if necessary. Contrast this with the current tent city methods....
You'd have to put in place a safety mechanism to ensure that people can't get accidentally (or deliberately) locked into a room and have the washing cycle turned on. I'd hate to end up drowning before the spin-dry cycle. ;) Could also make the rooms a tad larger for foreigners. Not just for height/length, but obesity being the epidemic of this age...
I think its a great Idea and I myself have thought of this myself. Of course in the U.S. it would soon be priced out of reach. WW
Yes, I would stay! As hotel rates skyrocket, this concept will ultimately find a niche. For Westerners, it will take a little longer to catch on. As previously recommended, an excellent first step would be to place them in large airports and train stations. Imagine branding this concept with the Green Movement as a way to reduce our carbon footprint while traveling away from home? Good idea! I'm certain a venture capitalist will step in and do quite well with this concept. Kampai!
I would definitely stay at one of these places if it meant that the risk of getting bedbugs was nonexistent (compared to say, a regular hotel, hostel, b&b, etc.) My greatest fear is in catching one of those bedbugs and bringing it back home. I can see how places like capsule hotels might be designed to be easy to clean and maintain, preventing such infestations from occurring. THAT would be worth paying the price in minimalist surroundings and admittedly claustrophobia-inducing 'room' sizes.
I think that there should be a chain of these in every international airport around the world. I find that on a long enough layover, a place to get the proverbial 4Ss would be often nicer than just hanging out in the lounges. For couples, I could see a double sized one of these capsules would be nice.
I would. More often than not, i travel on a tight budget, and a big hotel room is not all that useful. Wifi IS avaiable in the cubicles, right?
This is such a great idea if very affordable compared to standard hotel/motel rates. Not for everyone (sorry to the super-tall Dr. John & those who can't sleep without a partner for 8 hours) or every situation (people who NEED a hotel experience and who doesn't once in a while). In the meantime, http://airbnb.com/ is a nice option to couchsurfing, shadfurman.
I've been talking about this kind of thing for years! I AM a minimalist and I don't need more than a place to put my bags and take a nap. My vision was a little different, I imagined them as kind of service-less room vending machines. Coin operated rooms with a bed and a small fold down table. They self wash like some bathrooms do. When your time is up you leave, shut the door and perform some kind of verification action to indicate your done (so it doesn't perform the wash while someone is in the room.) Any anonymities like cheap blankets, pillows, food, toothpaste etc... could be bought at vending machines. The shower would be an issue, unmonitored public showers would obviously pose some issues, so maybe there would be a way to put a shower head in the room. I think people have become WAY too spoiled. Its one thing if you have the money, but too many people expect quality they can't afford and then expect others (like the government) to pay for them. Live within your means, and this would certainly be easier for me to live within my means. I wouldn't have to spend hours on http://www.couchsurfing.org/ trying to find a place to stay for under $100. Or even keep people safe by giving a cheap place to sleep off my drunkenness. Lots of good reasons.
It is a good idea for single people. You need to make a queen or king size bed for couples. Maybe even with a couples lift and a couples shower room.
I would have loved to been able to take a nap in the middle of a sensoryoverloaded day. Put it somewhere in Tomorrowland.
These should be built at every major airport and AMTRAK station! When traveling on a strict budget years ago I used to head for the nearest YMCA Hotel or AYH Hostel for cheap digs, and these capsules aren't all that different. For couples, sure, find other accommodations if you can't stand being apart for nine hours, but give single or lone travelers an economical night's sleep without all the unneeded luxuries. A perfect solution too, for those on long trains trips who can't afford the exorbitant private compartment fares!
I wouldn't fit. I have to sleep diagonally at most hotels, or let my lower legs and feet hang off. I just can't see me being able to use one of these things.
When I travel, I enjoy having company, a real dinner, a drink or two, a nice shower, a comfortable bed, and a real breakfast. This is much too minimalist for me.
uh.. I'm going with not my cup of tea. I like my space and privacy, though I do like the light wake up system.