Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the living-in-the-hive dept.

Idle 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

cancel ×

269 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sounds like the Navy. (3, Interesting)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661050)

I did 6 months of that multiple times. Its not too bad.

So in your opinion... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661496)

Does the Navy bunk comfortably rest one society-vulnerable man or very comfortably rest two grown consenting men?

sicko.

I'ld sleep in the canon barrels or on deck in my shoes before admitting any of that.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (4, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661586)

I did 6 months of that multiple times. Its not too bad.

Then again, your paycheck is being deposited to the proper account, the chow is regular and nutritious, and the guys next to you are your fellow sailors.
I imagine it's an entirely different experience when your looking for a job, counting the remaining yen in your wallet, lying next to a bunch of strangers similar only in their unfortunate circumstances.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661944)

Just don't take the bottom rack. Remember folks, drunken pee flows downhill.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662016)

Yeah but were you paying $640 a month for it?

That's almost as much as those tiny NYC apartments and those have a lot more room (including your own bathroom).

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (0)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662130)

$640 a month? I doubt that'd get you anything in NYC.

I was recently paying $1200/month for a one bedroom in plainsboro nj, just outside of princeton. I've recently switched to paying much more (including property taxes) for a condo that I own, but for most people in this area, $640 would be phenomenal.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662482)

Comparing a one bedroom apartment to a large coffin size container is hardly fair. I'll leave the actual number crunching to the reader, but the $640/month for one of those things is much more expensive than your $1200/month room when you look at price per cubic foot. And, you had a door.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662150)

I did 6 months of that multiple times. Its not too bad.

I did 6 months of that multiple times. Its not too bad.

Times must be hard if they are making you sleep in the Torpedo Tubes.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (3, Insightful)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662372)

A torpedo tube has more cubic than the rack I was assigned on an LST.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (2, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662634)

The "bunks" (racks) on a ship are affectionately known as coffins. They're about 72"x30"x18" (unless you take the top rack, which typically has no "roof") and they've got little airplane-style vents near your head to keep you from suffocating.

On the older 688 LA Class attack subs, most of the TMs (torpedomen) don't even get that luxury -- they sleep on mattresses in the torpedo storage area with no separation between them. They put down some plywood over the steel torpedo cradles, and then put their mattresses on the plywood. And about 18 inches above that is another rack of torpedoes. Of course, there are often actual torpedoes in said storage area, and when there are, the crew sleeps on the floor in the "hallways" on either side.

That's just for TMs though. Most of the rest of the crew gets to hot rack [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662982)

Now it makes sense that a friend in the Navy told me, everyone with half a brain tries to get on a carrier instead of a sub.

Re:Sounds like the Navy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662660)

I stayed in one in Osaka for 4 straight days. Day one was weird and I dreaded the thought of dieing and having that for my epitaph. Then I got used to it. They're as unwholesome and sterile as Japanese salarymen but they're no too bad for a small period. Don't expect pleasant dreams. One good thing though, is there are usually public baths in the hotel too. Actually,. at first it reminded me of the movie Alien.

I'd rather have a room... (3, Interesting)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661100)

but if it came time to give up luxuries, it would be one of the first to go.

Re:I'd rather have a room... (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661720)

The things cost about $640 a month. That's better than a hotel, but still a pretty brutal monthly expense.

Re:I'd rather have a room... (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661776)

Yeah I read TFA after commenting. It costs more than my room. So screw that;)

Remember this is by Tokyo standards (3, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661884)

By Tokyo standards $640 a month is cheap

Re:Remember this is by Tokyo standards (1, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661980)

It's cheap for an apartment or hotel. Looking over rent prices in Tokyo [tokyorent.com] it seems an apartment isn't all that much more expensive than the San Francisco area, and it seems you can get one for around $850 if you're not too picky. It seems it would be cheaper to just get a roommate than to live in one of these boxes.

Re:Remember this is by Tokyo standards (0)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662384)

This seems to be bare-minimum luxury though.

a thin blanket and a hard pillow of rice husks.

Honestly? At retail this pillow [kohls.com] was selling for $5 before Christmas. How can you pay $640 per month and only get rice husks to sleep on?

Re:Remember this is by Tokyo standards (3, Funny)

alaskana98 (1509139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662606)

However, when you're done sleeping on your rice husk pillow you can eat it for breakfast. I doubt any Kohls pillow would be as nutritious.

Re:Remember this is by Tokyo standards (2, Insightful)

default luser (529332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662494)

It's cheap for an apartment or hotel. Looking over rent prices in Tokyo it seems an apartment isn't all that much more expensive than the San Francisco area, and it seems you can get one for around $850 if you're not too picky. It seems it would be cheaper to just get a roommate than to live in one of these boxes.

The problem with the whole "get a roommate" thing is this: can you trust him/her to pay their portion of the rent? How about if he loses his job? I had a roommate who stiffed me out of rent money after he was unemployed for 8 months last year, and I was lucky I could cover the rent at the time. I'll be lucky if I ever see that money again.

While we're on the subject, just who do you think is going to rent-out an apartment to someone who is jobless and on unemployment? This is the reason jobless people flock to the hotels: no credit checks and no references required!

That, and you don't have to stay every night: you can pay for a room a few times a week to get a shower and a good rest, and bum-around the remainder of the time to save your money.

Re:Remember this is by Tokyo standards (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662760)

You are right of course, but when I look at this sort of thing, I always think, "I wonder if I could live there on a regular basis in order to cut my expenses." In this case, the answer seems to be no. It's not really worth it.

Re:I'd rather have a room... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662222)

Well real estate prices are pretty insane in and around the Tokyo metropolitan area. Tokyo was ranked #1 in the entire world for cost of living, followed by Osaka at #2. To put that in perspective, NYC isn't even in the top 5. Yeah, a lot of things are faster, better, AND cheaper (yes, pick all 3), notably public transportation, cellular phones and service, and internet access -- but a lot of things are much more expensive AND provided in much smaller quantities than we're used to in the US.

Westerners (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661130)

I wonder if Westerners are accepted at these places?

Re:Westerners (2, Interesting)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661218)

I am pretty sure beloved boyfriend would not fit comfortably and it would have to be an interesting fantasy scene if he wanted me to join him.

Re:Westerners (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661382)

As long as the neighbours get to enjoy the audio

Re:Westerners (2, Informative)

harp2812 (891875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661384)

Every one of these that I've seen were single occupant only, and men/women had completely separate wings of the building at least, or often entirely separate floors. For double occupancy, there's plenty of "love hotels" to be found. :)

Re:Westerners (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661650)

For double occupancy, there's plenty of "love hotels" to be found. :)

Although at probably a higher price.

Re:Westerners (1)

harp2812 (891875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661838)

Hey, those theme rooms don't pay for themselves! ;)

Actually, I think they were like only $40-$60 a night ($25 for a few hours), but I wasn't paying that much attention to the signs beyond getting a chuckle out of the pictures of the rooms... never actually stayed in one though, so maybe I misread the rates.

Re:Westerners (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662060)

If anything will stop two horny people from having sex, it's a list of rules~

Re:Westerners (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662850)

there's plenty of "love hotels" to be found. :)

In my experience, some of them don't allow gaijin either.

Re:Westerners (2, Funny)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661242)

only if they fit

Re:Westerners (2, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661262)

There are booking sites for various capsule hotels in English so yes.
However from reading reviews most seem to be separated by sex if you are going as a couple.

Re:Westerners (1)

harp2812 (891875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661320)

Yup - I stayed a couple nights in a capsule hotel back in March, and I'm a pretty standard Seattle-ite... My hotel was also somewhere around Shinjuku IIRC, however
my cubby hole didn't look quite that nice. Only $25 a night in downtown Tokyo though, so ya can't knock that.

Re:Westerners (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662190)

I haven't been skiing in many years, but I've thought that something like this could do well in Tahoe, for people who come up just to ski.. Come up, ski, go to casinos or whatever for a while, then sleep in one of these capsules, cheaper than a regular hotel..

Re:Westerners (5, Informative)

midnightJackal (680627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661598)

I wonder if Westerners are accepted at these places?

As with all things in Japan, it depends. Westerners will be allowed in if they satisfy the requirements posted on the wall at the reception area. In most cases, anyone with tattoos will be barred entry (since tattoos == yakuza in japan).

Also, most capsule hotels are exclusively for men because it reduces the risk of rape (versus co-ed). There are one or two capsule hotels in Tokyo that I could find that are exclusively for women, but since the whole point of a capsule hotel is to provide a place for a salaryman (read: regular joe schmoe employee) to catch some sleep after a night of drinking and missing his last train home, it doesn't often happen that a woman would *need* to stay in a capsule hotel. Especially since Japanese society still largely encourages women to abandon their careers once they have children. And, as we all know, Japanese women are expected to be baby making machines [bbc.co.uk] , so *not* having children isn't really seen as an option.

Disclaimer: I lived in (albeit rural) Japan from 2005-2007, and I'm female. I looked for capsule hotels when I was there, and there were few that would accept me. My views on women's rights and societal expectations in Japan may be somewhat biased by my small-town life there, as even in Canada small-town women get exposed to fewer options and seemingly have fewer acceptable life choices than those in major cities.

Re:Westerners (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661862)

For those who don't know, "yakuza" is the Japanese term for mafia or organized crime.

Re:Westerners (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661916)

For those who don't know, "mafia" is the italian term for yakuza or organized crime.

Re:Westerners (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661978)

Actually that's a thorny problem. Obviously a society that does not have it's women have at least 2.1 children average dies (and given the number of problems, medical and otherwise, that means every woman should strive to put between 3 and 4 children on this world. And frankly, especially in Japan, if women are "baby making machines" they're not doing their job (and neither are the men, of course. But obviously babies don't appear out of nowhere and a woman will be out of comission for 5 months at least, not counting childcare afterwards. The man will not (maybe a week). Please direct all complaints to God (or Darwin, if you prefer). The chances for an answer seem limited).

Now obviously there are lots of ways one might induce women to have children. But none of the "stimulation" methods have worked in the west. At least not sufficiently to get to replacement level. So what is a society to do ? Those rural areas with "fewer acceptable roles", are much, much closer to 2.1 than the urban environments ...

Obviously, if this is true, and evolution works as advertised, then only societies with "fewer acceptable roles for women" will survive. The differences in reproduction worldwide between human groups are 800%. Given that entire species have disappeared as a result of less than 1% difference in fertility ....And before you say "that takes millenia". Well, no. A 1% difference in fertility will make the less productive species disappear in some 50 generations (if it's racial differences, interbreeding speeds up this process enormously, if cultural differences it is a lot faster still). For humans 50 generations would be a millenium. But the differences are not 1%, but up to 800% (and realistically the differences are 200% at least in western countries).

And frankly, what do you think is best for women. Life with "fewer acceptable roles", like in mid-20th-century rural environment in the west ? Or like today under the students of islam ("taliban" in pashtun) and their counterparts elsewhere ?

Re:Westerners (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662088)

So there is a persopn whose job it is to stop Yakuza from using these? tough gig.

Re:Westerners (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662194)

And, as we all know, Japanese women are expected to be baby making machines , so *not* having children isn't really seen as an option.

Hey, at least he acknowledged that calling women "machines" may not be appropriate!

Yeah...

even in Canada small-town women get exposed to fewer options

Oh sure, blame Canada!

They're not even a real country anyway.

Re:Westerners (2, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662416)

If you ever run across the documentary called "Japan Land" you'll see the female adventurer treking about the country on her own. It's shown on PBS World from time to time.

In one of the episodes she manages to get a night in a capsule hotel and films herself getting in and out. She managed to get into a few other places where women aren't completely welcome and got to see some interesting things like standing in the middle of a sea of Yakuza during a temple festival.

Wrong (mostly) (2, Informative)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662608)

Tattoos on westeners are not looked upon with the same stigma as tattoos on Japanese (and even this is lessening nowadays, especially for discreet non-yakuza tattoos).
Even high end spas in the countryside accept westeners with discreet(ish) tattoos. Yes, the official policy is still "100% tattoo ban", but it's not enforced. Hell, some places even let Yakuza in, but maybe those are not the finest of establishments.

On a topic more related to OP: The capsule hotels are not that bad, especially since you have washing facilities and good security. Also, if you have a capsule hotel where you can make a deal not to be thrown out every morning with all your belongings, which is what usually happens, and if you can make it a permanent address for jobseeking purposes, it becomes a downright awesome option for people on the way down or early on their way up.

Re:Westerners (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661876)

I think allot of Westerners wouldn't fit.

nothing beats a good all night dutch-oven (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661152)

especially when you get to pay for the privilege

LOL, K? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661466)

Off topic? Come on, that's hilarious!!! Posting anonymously to prevent the mod gods from crushing me...

Re:LOL, K? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661970)

Well, now it is Funny, but with a score of 0.
I thought idle wasn't subjected to moron modding. It turns out I was wrong :)

Note: just to clarify, I'm a different AC.

Re:nothing beats a good all night dutch-oven (1)

kaini (1435765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662650)

mod parent funny!

Very affordable (0)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661210)

Oh, yes, it's very affordable. $600+ a month can easily buy you a decent apartment pretty much anywhere else, but here you get a room that's smaller than a prison cell that you can just barely sleep in.

I could see people sleeping in one of these once in a while if they have to pull shift work or if they miss a train, but every day? Even living with your parents would be less degrading than living in one of these as an apartment.

Re:Very affordable (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661364)

FTFA: "$640 A month for an upper bunk... But with no upfront deposit or extra utility charges, and basic amenities like fresh linens and free use of a communal bath and sauna, the cost is far less than renting an apartment in Tokyo"

That's 600 a month + the cost of food for everything you need to maintain your health till you find another job.

Some people don't have parents to go home to. Others have been kicked out. Believe me, the people -living- there aren't exactly there because they enjoy it.

health care is free / payed for by all as well (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661632)

health care is free / payed for by all as well,

So people with out jobs can still get care

Re:Very affordable (2, Funny)

craash420 (884493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662396)

Wait, we're allowed to post after we RTFA?

Re:Very affordable (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662462)

There's a loophole:

I skimmed.

Re:Very affordable (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661434)

Oh, yes, it's very affordable. $600+ a month can easily buy you a decent apartment pretty much anywhere else

Haha what? $600 a month wouldn't rent you the worst hovel in this city. That's a pretty affordable deal in most cities, let alone Tokyo.

Re:Very affordable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661886)

WTF? I rented a room in LA for that - with all utilities included, my own *private* bathroom, free use of the family kitchen and whatnot. Back here in one of the most expensive cities in Germany (Stuttgart) I pay 570 Euros (~$820) for a very nice 2 room apartment (54 m^2), including all utilities and services. Something basic but still a shitload more comfortable than that capsule thing could be easily had for $600.

Re:Very affordable (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662096)

Neither LA or Stuttgart is in Japan. That's the big difference.

Japan is a high populated island. Even the UK has more expensive housing than the continent. I think you'll find that's always the case on an island.

Re:Very affordable (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662598)

Absolutely. It's pure hell in Australia - the deserts are jam-packed with people, end to end.

Re:Very affordable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661478)

Even in Tokyo, 600USD per month gets you an OK room in a guest house, or a tiny apartment in the suburbs. I suspect most of the people "living" in these places actually sleep on the street most of the time, and just rent a capsule occasionally when they've scraped together some cash.

Re:Very affordable (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661964)

The article is about people who rent them by the month.

Re:Very affordable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661604)

Even living with your parents would be less degrading than living in one of these as an apartment.

Gives me a good idea on how to handle a boomerang child:

You are welcome to stay in one of the basement lockers until you get a job and a place of your own.

Pretty nice for an overnight stay (2, Interesting)

JickL (1398643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661224)

I stayed in a couple of capsule hotels during my trip to Japan in 2006. The good ones, such as one I can't remember the name of in Hakata, were great spa-like experiences which were still rather cheap. The worst one was actually in Shinjuku in Tokyo, where the capsules were badly ventilated and the in-hotel restaurant gave me food poisoning (cow-stomach ramen did not go down well in my own stomach, apparently).

Re:Pretty nice for an overnight stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661332)

Cow-stomach ramen?
ITYM tripe ramen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripe), which is actually quite good IMHO.

Re:Pretty nice for an overnight stay (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661492)

Assuming your definition of "good" is an odd combination of chewy and crunchy, with very little actual flavour...

Re:Pretty nice for an overnight stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661572)

Tripes are very healthy (rich in protein), but hard to digest for a lot of people.

Smaller than Snowcrash? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661278)

Hiro Protagonist's place sounded awful, but much better than this in Snowcrash.

Re:Smaller than Snowcrash? (1)

bhxob (1144819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661432)

I dunno, the amenities sound nicer than your run of the mill U-Store-It.

Re:Smaller than Snowcrash? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661794)

I dunno, the amenities sound nicer than your run of the mill U-Store-It.

Reminds me of one of Michael Moore's stunts. He put the poor into storage! He furnished a self storage unit. It was affordable, had air conditioning, security, etc. Lack of a ceiling would have been a bit of a pain though, as would the lack of a window.

Re:Smaller than Snowcrash? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661444)

I am more reminded of the coffins from Gibson's Neuromancer.

Now we only need chicks with titan blades under fingernails...

Re:Smaller than Snowcrash? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661690)

I am more reminded of the coffins from Gibson's Neuromancer.

Now we only need chicks with titan blades under fingernails...

That's what I thought of when I saw this on Fark initially. I can do without the razor girls, though.

10'x30' or something, IIRC (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661534)

Guess we'll just have to wait for the rest of the world to turn to total shit before living in a storage unit becomes 'appealing'.

Re:10'x30' or something, IIRC (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662248)

Yeah, if our unemployment ever got way up around 5.2%, we'd have to resort to this kind of thing.

I don't think I would be welcome. (5, Funny)

irright (1369385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661484)

I would get beaten to death by other patrons who didn't appreciate my revving-dirtbike-level snoring.

Very surprising for Japan (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661494)

The fact that Japan's homelessness is large enough to now be visible is pretty shocking. Although as far back as 2001, I saw a few homeless in Ueno park. It's a problem they very much liked to sweep under the rug, but they can no longer. Most Japanese are taught to save as much as we spend, even if you're dirt poor, and that usually mitigates the chances of one becoming homeless, if it is only for lack of a job. But as the person at the end of the article shows, that will only go so far, if you are out of a job for a long time. An increasing disconnectedness in family structure may also contribute to a decreasing natural social safety net in urban areas. The latter is only a guess. There are varying qualities of capsule hotels, and it sounds like the lower end ones are becoming long term residencies.

Re:Very surprising for Japan (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661850)

I traveled to Japan in 2002 with a Japanese coworker who'd left in the mid-90s. He was shocked almost to tears at the number of blue-tarp squatting settlements in Ueno, which were totally absent in the 90s.

Free vasectomys/tubal ligation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661520)

Wouldn't that be cheaper to reduce the population instead of continually making people live like rats in a cage?

Re:Free vasectomys/tubal ligation. (4, Interesting)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661754)

Actually, Japan's population has been going down for a long time, and in fact that's one of their problems.

Re:Free vasectomys/tubal ligation. (1)

NouberNou (1105915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661762)

Troll or not, you got the wrong country there bucko.

Carl Fargman (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661538)

Hey what do you know...just like my Carl Fargman drawers back at home.

Re:Carl Fargman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30661742)

Carl Farbman

Best place to spend a few weeks. (5, Interesting)

nwanua (70972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661570)

I do feel for the poor chaps who must do it, but personally, I do this _every_ chance I get. Longest was about 2 weeks. I actually prefer capsules to conventional hotels: nice long saunas, a chance to meet and hang out with interesting people (rather than holing up in a room), it forces you to stay out (again, so you don't stay holed in), and you can't beat the price: $25-$35 a night, right in the middle of all the action.

You could also do pretty much the same at Internet Cafes. I've found the accommodation (couch+cubicle+snacks+internet+manga+games) to be far better than even most first-class flight cabins. You still need your everyday clothes on, so I'd stay there max 2 days.

Tip: best way to visit Japan: travel very light. Buy shaving supplies, soap, t-shirts, etc. at the local combini or 99 yen store. Instead of spend money at a single hotel, spend it traveling to different parts of the country: danjiri festival here, live music there, temple over there, robots over there, party over here. All without luggage to slow you down.

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662026)

Or stay out of Japan all together. Safer, less tentacle-rapey, less schoolgirl panty sniffy, less racist, less xenophobic, etc.

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (5, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662646)

Safer, less tentacle-rapey, less schoolgirl panty sniffy, less racist, less xenophobic

That's what I go to Japan for, you insensitive clod!

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662134)

so basically it is like a posh hostel, with an enclosure built around your bed. are there any real hostels in japan, the non-enclosed kind?

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662438)

robots over there, party over here

I find your discrimination to be both unkind and irrational. What kind of a Japanese party would it be without robots?

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662524)

Tip 2: Always watch Japanese television ninja game shows only after being jet-lagged by a 14 hour plane ride and drinking at least 2 large bottles of the cheapest sake (purchased from the nearest airport vending machines); it's twice as funny that way.

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662704)

Tip 3: Don't buy the adult PPV channels; they're heavily censored. Although after a few minutes of watching, you're sort of glad for the censoring.

Re:Best place to spend a few weeks. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662994)

You could also do pretty much the same at Internet Cafes. I've found the accommodation (couch+cubicle+snacks+internet+manga+games) to be far better than even most first-class flight cabins. You still need your everyday clothes on, so I'd stay there max 2 days

And at least a few years ago, free all-you-can-drink mellon flavored slurpies.

Smoke (5, Interesting)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661646)

When I traveled to Japan I ended up staying in a capsule hotel for one night. The problem (and only problem) I had with them is the fact that they allow smoking. Almost every japanese male (male only btw) smokes, as one of my old japanese coworkers said "You aren't a man if you don't smoke". Well, when you have 510 people smoking in a very very small building it becomes not only disgusting but I got really sick from it. After that day I stopped smoking, and haven't lit up since.

Re:Smoke (2, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663018)

Actually the number of smokers has dropped precipitously in the last 10 years. When did you go? When I first went in 2001 it was everywhere, unavoidable. Every restaurant was billowing clouds. On the last of four trips, it was practically nonexistent in comparison. No smoking on the JR trains, hardly any smoke in the restaurants. There has been a large campaign against smoking in public.

Hey baby, wanna go to my place? (0)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30661804)

What are the chances of any of these guys bringing a real live girl back to their "capsule"?

This is great (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662126)

(Opinion Alert)

I'd love to see it implemented in the states. We yanks over the pond seem to think the size of your sleeping quarters is essentially proportional to your rank in society, and having this totally alternative means of housing, even for just a short term, could provide a constructive new perspective to a lot of people. Hitting "rock bottom," while still absolutely devastating, would be survivable. You'd have to start from the beginning (and bottom), but for people that fall off the wagon that's usually what they need. These domiciles could also become a sort of luxury for the homeless on particularly stormy days. Since all things age, perhaps in time the older capsule's could be subsidized for permanent homeless accommodation. I just really can't see a downside to these things, and can only see a huge gain for a variety of cultures in the US.

Also, capsules would enable a lifestyle not seen since the 60s and 70s (the most artistically prolific period of the US, IMO, and largely in part of the widespread bohemianism), and it would not be fueled by drugs, an outcasted youth, and war but rather the simple fact that its realistic and safe. It would be possible to live a completely normal life without ever owning a home and just paying your $X to bunk up on whatever side of town you ended the night. Whether or not you choose to accept it, there is a fairly large bohemian subculture in the US and cheap capsule housing could transform the lifestyle into something safer. And like I said before, all of the homeless could potentially take advantage of this. This benefits all of society in a multitude of ways--less people on the streets means less crime, less disease, and prettier cities just to name a few. If you're apposed to bohemianism and alternative lifestyles then think of it this way: we dirty hippies would finally be off of your lawn!

I could keep going on about how profitable this could be for the private sector, and how cheap this would be for the government to utilize (seems like they already do, see Navy post) but I'm pretty high and getting rambly so I'll spare you that mess. I can't wait to read the replies on this story... hopefully there'll be a good debate on whether capsule housing is practical or not.

Re:This is great (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662420)

I just really can't see a downside to these things,

The downside is that it brings us that much closer to a William Gibson Future.

We'd like to avoid that.

Re:This is great (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662862)

Check http://www.couchsurfing.com./ [www.couchsurfing.com] A lot of people travel on the uber cheap this way. It's pretty nice :)

Compare to NYC (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662208)

Craigslist for NYC shows single rooms in sublets or shared apartments at a minimum of $125/week, so it's not outrageous to have your own space with a lockable door this way.

I'm casually calling BS (3, Interesting)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662414)

I've been thinking about this since I first saw it reported. I haven't been to Japan in two years, but I did live in central Tokyo for several years and I think I got a feel for the place. I know exactly where this hotel is and walked by it quite often.

A Shinjuku capsule hotels are not the cheapest in the city by any means. A $3 train ride can save you 50%. The only reason most people don't do that is because they missed the last train--not a problem for the unemployed.

And while yes, it is cheaper than a Tokyo apartment, many (most?) people who -work- in Tokyo can't afford to -live- there. They live out in the 'burbs, up in Saitama or down in Kawasaki or wherever, where you can get your own place for a lot less. Sure, it's an hour train ride to work, but in Tokyo that's pretty standard. And you'd get your own place rather than a luxury coffin.

I've talked to my friends who still work in central Tokyo trying to get conformation of this 'trend' but all of them have reported back that this is bogus. But none of them are homeless businessmen, so my sampling is biased.

Re:I'm casually calling BS (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662984)

> And you'd get your own place rather than a luxury coffin.

Eh, 3D glasses, headphones, and an Internet connection, and you can run around fantasy lands as much as you want. Stupid pink body in a tube, who needs it? We're mind, baby!

Their own damned fault (-1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662528)

“I have looked and looked, but there are no jobs. Now my savings are almost gone,”

Anyone who saves effort by depending on others to be supplied a job -- as though it were a public resource -- is an idiot, and deserves what they get. I trust they were happy when they wrote a resume, got an interview, got hired, and got paid within three weeks. Now they get to notice that they were saving effort then, and the expense of money now.

By all means, take the easy road, and hope it leads somewhere. Don't be surprised if it winds up leading nowhere.

Can't find a job? Can't find a cake? Bake your own cake. It's not hard. Start your own business. It is hard.

Good news, those easy roads you took were paved for you by people who started the business from nothing. You decided not to. Congrats. Youwere lauhing then, today, sucks to be you.

I built two businesses from scratch. One ten years ago, that thrives now, and doubly so in this economy. The second one I started two years ago, and it has grown at half-price during this economy. It's a wonderful thing.

Finding problems and solving them yourself makes you valuable. Being available to help someone else makes them more valuable -- and it makes you replaceable, and removable. Big surprise.

Incidentally, the first man in this article studied economics. You'd have thought he'd have see this coming.

Re:Their own damned fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663006)

Please Mister Smart guy tell us, what are your businesses doing?

Beats Being Homeless Though (2, Insightful)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662656)

I'd rather live in a capsule than in a cardboard box in an alley somewhere. Safer, warmer, and more secure.

Tag Line (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662658)

The neuromancer tagline is pretty apropros. It is a shame that stuff like this has to spring up. I feel bad for the economic victims.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?