I’m kind of loving that shower/bath/sink/toilet combo and would like to snag one for my basement powder room reno.
Thanks for the pics!
The panelling and cupboards look like they are in remarkably good nick for an early 1970s decor. Everything else I’ve ever seen from that era is warped, discoloured, with peeling veneers and broken hinges. I’m assuming a very recent retro-fit (with emphasis on the “retro”)?
Yes that is it. I do wonder how the you tube algorithms work some days.
That’s pretty common in Japanese apartments, in a lot of cases it is a drop in module. There is something very nice about the bathroom that is designed as a single unit and only needs 3 connections to get it up and running.
You’re in luck- that’s something that did stick around. Most mediocre Japanese apartments built after 1990 come standard with the airline style plastic box washroom.
Should’ve read through all the comments first. Clearly I’m not the only person who’s experienced the weird platic bathroom unit.
Seeing what you did, there
Love hotels are designed for short term stays, like the “hourly rate” motels sometimes found in the U.S. I understand too (no direct experience) that renting a place in these, or the capsule hotels, can be challenging unless you have a reasonable command of Japanese.
But now I need someone to bring me one, or to fly me to Japan so I can sneak one back in my baggage without having to pay the crazy rates they’ll charge in the US for a “tiny house” appliance!
Life in Elon’s lithium mines won’t be all sunshine and roses
Seems to be quite a few missing slots on that building. Did a few of the pods fall off?
I do like the built in reel-to-reel.
Yeah- you’d need a connection in country probably, or at least access to building supply. Shipping isn’t so hard if you’re close to a port.
There are many days when I miss having a Japanese bath (though not with the toilet in the same room). There’s something so appealing about being able to hose the entire room down, ceiling to floor.
Looks like the sort of place that serves (and produces) soylent green.
Capsule hotels usually do have a sign saying that you cannot stay unless you are able to understand and follow instructions in Japanese (usually related to shared bathroom etiquette), but love hotels are often designed for privacy, which means absolutely no human contact. You often walk into an empty lobby and there is a wall with a list of rooms (open rooms will be lit up) and rates. You select a room and take the key and go directly to the room without talking to anyone. You get a call when your time is up, and many love hotels have pneumatic tubes* for you to send cash payment and receive change, so no language ability is needed whatsoever.
Here is a picture for reference of what I mean by pneumatic tube. You sometimes see these at drive-in bank tellers in the US, but I’m not sure how common it is elsewhere.
Have long loved Nakagin Capsule Tower. As the iconic representative of “Japanese Metabolist” architecture; it represents an alternate future, a path not quite taken.
It would be a real shame to see it demolished, especially now because the plan to convert (the rather awful) KK Expressway that runs right next to it into a walkable elevated thoroughfare like the High Line in NYC or Promenade Plantée in Paris — or more directly like Seoullo 7017 in Seoul (because it is also is a converted elevated freeway instead of a rail line) — is going to make the whole area much nicer.
If you just walk in off the street, it could be challenging to stay (overnight) or “rest” (hourly) at a lovel hotel in Japan if you don’t speak or read any Japanese; mostly read and mostly because the pricing options can be complicated.
However, largely because of reduced demand among locals, they’re actually easy to book by the night via mainstream hotel booking sites these days. They’re the ones that commonly pop up with “Love Hotel” or “Adult Only” in the title.
With just a quick search, there are love hotels in Tokyo with not so subtle names like “Two Way” – with its oversized tub and mirrored wall – and “Hotel Perrier” – with its round bed and mirrored ceiling – that can be easily booked by anyone. Love hotels in Japan actually can be cheap, even; worth considering if you’re not the prudish type. They’re designed to be as anonymous as possible.
I’m on Brave. I opened a private window, and set Shields Down. The images came through then.
It seems odd to not fix the fridge, but apparently the hot water has been out of service for a long time (the article says 2010). The capsules are individually owned (like condos), so if you stay there for a month, individual landlords often will chip in a monthly pass for a nearby onsen, though.
Word on the street is that the hot water was not fixed/shut off largely as an excuse to try to get people to stop living there. The majority of owners voted for demolition in 2007, but the developer who was supposed to tear it down and build a new building went bankrupt during the 2008 financial crisis, and the building has been in limbo ever since with some capsule owners wanting to tear the building down and cash in on the land value and others vowing to save it. Let’s hope it survives!
When the residents voted to demolish, the tower’s architect, Kisho Kurokawa, proposed replacing the apartment modules instead. The tower was originally designed so that individual modules could be removed and replaced without disturbing the others.
Indeed, a major idea behind Japanese Metabolist architecture was that these capsules could be removed and upgraded or replaced and even plugged into other “core” buildings elsewhere. Here’s a great article with more on the idea and lots of construction photos and concept models.
They seem nice when you aren’t using them on a daily basis. They’re efficient, but really cramped. I wanted an apartment with a traditional furoba, but was stuck with a “unit bath.”