Capsule hotel

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Capsules in Tokyo
Capsule interior
Capsules in Osaka
The box in the upper left foreground is the TV, which is controlled via the panel in the left background. This panel also controls the light and the air conditioning. On the right wall is a mirror and the air conditioning inlet in the top corner.

A capsule hotel (カプセルホテル, kapuseru hoteru), also known as a pod hotel, is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of extremely small "rooms" (capsules) intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require or who cannot afford the services offered by more conventional hotels.


The guest room is a modular plastic or fiberglass block roughly 2 by 1 by 1.25 m (6 ft 7 in by 3 ft 3 in by 4 ft 1 in). Facilities differ, but most include a television, an electronic console, and wireless internet connection. The capsules are stacked side-by-side, two units high, with steps providing access to the second level rooms, leading to comparisons to corpse drawers in a morgue.[1] The open end of the capsule can be closed, for privacy, with a curtain or a fiberglass door. Luggage is stored in a locker and washrooms are communal. Guests are asked not to smoke or eat in the capsules.[2] Some hotels also provide restaurants (or at least vending machines), pools, and other entertainment facilities.[3] Capsule hotels vary in size, from fifty or so capsules to 700, and they are used primarily by men.[4] Some capsule hotels offer separate sections for male and female guests. Clothes and shoes can sometimes be exchanged for a yukata and slippers on entry. A towel may also be provided.

The benefit of these hotels is convenience and low price, usually around ¥2000–4000 (USD 18–36) a night. They provide an alternative for those who (especially on weeknights) may be too drunk to return home safely, have missed the last train of the day to make a return trip home, or are too embarrassed to face their spouses.[5] With continued recession in Japan, as of early 2010, more and more guests – roughly 30% at the Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 in Tokyo – were unemployed or underemployed who had become homeless during the crisis and were temporarily renting capsules by the month.[6] This style of hotel has not gained wide popularity outside Japan, although Western variants known as "pod hotels"[7] have been developed, with larger accommodations and often private baths.


The first capsule hotel in the world was the Capsule Inn Osaka, designed by Kisho Kurokawa and located in the Umeda district of Osaka, Japan. It opened in 1979.[8][9]

In 2012, China opened its first capsule hotel in Xi'an.[10]

In 2014, the first European capsule hotel opened in Belgium.[11]

In 2015, Iceland opened the first capsule hostel in Reykjavik.[12]

In 2015, a capsule hotel was opened at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, the Philippines, for passengers in transit.[citation needed]

In January 2017, the first capsule hotel opened in Hong Kong.[13]

On September 17, 2017, a capsule hotel in Indonesia was opened in Surabaya, East Java. The hotel is called Tab Capsule.[14]

In August 2018, a capsule hotel with 120 rooms is opened at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport Terminal 3.[15]

The first capsule hotel in India was opened on 1 March 2017 in Andheri, Mumbai. The hotel, called Urbanpod, contains 140 units with an individual area of between 50 square feet and 90 sq ft.[16]

The first capsule hotel in Mexico was opened August 2017 at Mexico City Airport Terminal 1; the hotel is called Izzzleep.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japan's most stylish/strange hotels
  2. ^ Solomon, Leonard (1997). Japan in a Nutshell. Top Hat Press, 115–166. ISBN 0-912509-06-6.
  3. ^ Schreiber, Mark (January 16, 2001). "Back to the future of a 'hotel for 2001'", The Japan Times, pp. 7–8.
  4. ^ "Accommodation in Japan". 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
  5. ^ Wardell, Steven (October 1994). "Capsule cure". Atlantic Monthly. 274 (4):42–47.
  6. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko. "For Some in Japan, Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk", The New York Times, 2010-01-01. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.
  7. ^ Fodor's Editors (December 31, 2007). "Pod Hotels: Small, Stylish, and Cheap". Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Capsule Inn Osaka" (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Kotobuki Corporation History" (in Japanese). Kotobuki Corporation. Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  10. ^ "China's first capsule hotel opens in Xi'an". CNN Travel. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
  11. ^ "Trend alert: Belgium opens Europe's first capsule hotel". CTV News. 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  12. ^ "Svefnhylki komin á hótelmarkaðinn". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  13. ^ "Sleep – Hong Kong's first capsule hotel". Perspective Global. 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  14. ^ "Kamar Kapsul TAB Hotel Kini Hadir di Kayoon Surabaya, Cukup Bayar Segini Sudah Dekat Pusat Kota!". Tribun Jatim. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Soekarno Hatta Airport`s Capsule Hotel Can be Booked Online". Tempo. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. ^ "With 50 sq ft, India's first pod hotel opens in Mumbai". dna. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

External links[edit]