How Japan Utilizes Capsule Hotels to Achieve Both Functionality and Rich Staying Experiences

by HomeDecorBeauty


How Japan Uses Capsule Hotels for Functionality and Rich Accommodation Experience

Capsule hotels typically represent many people’s impressions of Japan, combining intensive use of space, technical ingenuity, and a futuristic vibe. Capsule hotels, also known as capsule hotels, are one of the most famous and unique types of accommodation in Japan. They are usually located around major public transport hubs in metropolitan areas and are aimed at individuals looking for a low-budget one-night stay.

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Each guest is asked to occupy a capsule, basically a bed-sized pod that provides privacy through doors or curtains. Each capsule is lined up in a row, double-stacked, and provides all the necessary amenities a guest needs—namely air conditioning, electrical outlets, and high-speed Wi-Fi—without the significant price tags that standard or business hotels typically attach, and expect customers to spend every Nights are charged 2,000 to 5,000 yen. The first capsule hotel opened in Osaka in 1979 and is now spread across Japan and beyond.

All other facilities in the capsule hotel, such as restrooms, toilets and showers, are shared by guests. In addition, the hotel may have restaurants, vending machines, laundry facilities, common rooms and recreation rooms. In this article, we will introduce different capsule hotels located in the heart of the Japanese cityscape.


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Nine Hours Capsule Hotel by Naruse Inokuma Architects is a project that aims to create a new standard for capsule hotels. They worked hard to design a new form of capsule hotel, reinventing its traditional image, pursuing functionality while providing a rich stay experience.

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Nine Hours Capsule Hotel / Naruse Inokuma Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners
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Nine Hours Capsule Hotel / Naruse Inokuma Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners

The four stages of the capsule hotel accommodation are reconfigured into four scenarios, including the reception, prologue corridor, sanitary lounge and sleeping pod spaces. By choosing the most appropriate colors, materials and lighting for each of these functions, Naruse Inokuma Architects can realize a functional hotel that also enriches the pleasure of a hotel stay – from welcome to excitement, relaxation and the ultimate sleep experience.

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Nine Hours Capsule Hotel / Naruse Inokuma Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners

ºC (Do-C) Ebisu by Schemata Architects is a new business directly related to the Nine Hours capsule hotel chain. While Nine Hours Capsule Hotel offers a new image of a contemporary capsule hotel by completely redesigning and building a new capsule from the ground up, the firm took a different approach when designing ºC, a renovation of an existing capsule hotel.

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ºC (Do-C) Ebisu / Schemata Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners
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ºC (Do-C) Ebisu / Schemata Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners

The project aims to eliminate the image of the previous capsule hotel by changing the interior and environment, while maintaining the original appearance of the existing capsule hotel. In Japan, capsule hotels are often associated with saunas due to the traditional style of capsule hotels in the past. The existing building was not originally equipped with a sauna, but the designers intentionally recreated this overworked image by adding a sauna, while at the same time erasing the traditional impression and establishing a powerful combination of capsule and sauna to represent the identity of ºC.

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ºC (Do-C) Ebisu / Schemata Architects. Image © Nacása & Partners

CAPD’s Small Hotel is a new “unnamed business” with no resident staff throughout the facility. While pursuing architectural rationality, it was believed that the hardest part of the building would have a large impact on guest satisfaction, and the aim was to design a facility that would encourage the public to revisit.

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Small hotel/CAPD.Image © Daisuke Shima
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Small hotel/CAPD.Image © Daisuke Shima

Best for accommodating the larger side of capsule hotels, hotels use wide, cabin-sized openings in separate spaces, complete with double-bed-sized mattresses, with enough space for two people to occupy one space. Structural materials and plinths are done as is, while keeping costs down, the balance with other materials, colour scheme and lighting doesn’t give the impression of being cheap.

Whether you’ve missed the last train home or just want to extend your stay in the city for a few days without resorting to traditional hotel accommodations, capsule hotels are the perfect solution for travelers and locals alike. A must do when in Japan. While the epitome of comfort may not be entirely to be found here, they are comfortable, fast and well-appointed, and form the basis of the great stories you tell when you get home.

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1 comment

Mark September 9, 2022 - 7:09 am

Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

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