Thursday, December 16, 2010

Capsule Hotels

Few things in Japan are unique to the country. Some of these are at times even unheard of or unimaginable to foreigners. One such thing is the concept of Capsule hotel.

A capsule hotel is a type of accommodation with very small rooms. The rooms are actually sleeping areas or blocks with barely any other space. The dimensions are usually 6.5 feet long *5 feet wide. Usually these spaces are not tall enough to stand. Usually these rooms or blocks are stacked side by side and are usually two tiered. They are actually said to resemble a bunk bed enclosed on three sides within walls. Usually a small ladder is connected for access to second level. But lack of space does not deprive users of basic facilities and entertainment. There are usually wi-fi internet services and even Television sets. Curtains or doors are also available to provide privacy. The hotels have common washroom facilities, lockers for keeping guest’s belongings, vending machines and at times also restaurants. Some capsule hotels also have saunas and common baths. Smoking and eating is usually not allowed in the individual capsules.

The capsule hotel was first introduced in Osaka and are now popular in Osaka , Tokyo and similar cities. These hotels are popular among men and more often among inebriated men. These are a cheap means of spending the night with room rent ranging between Yen 2000 to 5000. In the last few years, recession has reportedly made these capsule hotels more popular among the unemployed who cannot afford rented apartments in the big cities. 

Since I have not been to a Capsule Hotel, am sharing this link from the New York times. Click on the link to view a slideshow of pictures of a capsule hotel. 

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