Inside Tokyo’s Swankiest Capsule Hotels

Dressed in black and purple pajamas with keycards around their necks, two Japanese businessmen sip whiskey in a Tokyo hotel lobby bar. Next to them, a woman in business attire dress puffs away on a cigarette while chatting to two Western backpackers. It’s an unusual sight to many eyes but it’s not an untypical Tuesday evening in one of Tokyo’s most trendy inns – a swanky, upscale capsule hotel.

Traditionally, Japanese capsule hotels have had a shabby reputation. Often located in the popular bar areas, the coffin-sized sleep spaces are notoriously frequented by Japanese salarymen in a drunken stupor who missed their last train home. Most are men-only.

Now, a new kind of stylish capsule hotel is popping up across the country. With a blend of function and style, they attract both local business people and foreign hipsters in search of fashionable accommodation.

Aiming to give guests the feeling that they’re inside a first-class airplane cabin, First Cabin Tsukiji is one of several hotel chains redefining the capsule concept. This is the brand’s most spacious option – the First Class Capsule (main picture).

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First Cabin represents minimalist compact living in luxurious form. Behind the door – a pull down shutter – is a bed, a 32-inch flat-screen TV and a safe. Slightly smaller than the First Class Capsule, the Business Capsule is also clean, comfortable and very cozy.

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The reception area, which is integrated with the bar, looks like an airport business class lounge.

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Traditionally, Japanese capsule hotels have a shabby reputation. But First Cabin’s  facilities rival those of a swanky boutique hotel.

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Hotel guests have access to shared facilities like showers and lavatories. There’s also a 24-hour public bathing area with Japanese-style hot tubs.

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Every guest is given pajamas and basic amenities. Female travelers will find cosmetic products and hair straighteners in the powder room.

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The First Cabin chain has expanded and now has five hotels in Tokyo, and three more in Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka.

From: CNN

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