These tiny hotel capsules were originally created about 20 years ago to provide an inexpensive lodging option for those who might have missed the last train home. They measure about are about 6.5-feet deep, 5-feet wide but zero standing room. Stacked two high on two sides of a narrow corridor this type of accommodation provides the basics and a little bit of privacy for short stays.
About two years ago they started becoming the home of last resort for Tokyo’s jobless. At about $640 a month these hotels provide a relatively low cost place to sleep, shower, and securely store personal items while the occupants search for work.
Tthis is far from an ideal living situation but it provides a place a safe home base for those that can pay the rent. EJ… thanks again for passing this onto me.
Photo credit to Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
It seems to me a fairly small addition would make these much more liveable. Two modified units stacked on top of each other like nesting capital ells with standing room opposite each other would do a lot to improve it. The entrances could be placed on opposite sides, so you don’t have to worry about both occupants leaving at the same time.
The stand up area could function as a bathroom/kitchen* and provide some fold down built in seating or with a fold down section, become part of the bed platform.
I suspect that sound insulation could be improved as that was probably not a priority when they were first built.
* toilet functions would unlikely be possible due to space and hygiene issues.
Adding the standing room you are talking about would use up allot of additional space. Full hight normal doors would add to the corridor space and since you would have to have corridors on both sides it would get even bigger with that. So if the standingrooms were 1 m2 added to the 1m2 per person the pods already take up(counting floorspace, not including the corridors) you would use as much floor space per person as if the whole pod was full height. And then you could have a char that could fold out to a bed and you would get the feeling of a lot more space. And you would be able to put two opposite each other so that you could use less corridor space. per pod/room. But even then you kind of loose the point of the pod. Your of mine “small addition” is quite big in the end when you can fit at least double the amount of people in the same space without them.
But, if you make it more hospitable, you will have more people willing to live in one. It is a “small addition” compared to the amount of space the average person (or even tiny house inclined) occupies now.
I totally agree that you could make it a bit bigger and make it more interesting to more people. I just think there are more effective alternatives in how to do so. And then again, some people would still think it would be to small and would like it to be just a little bit bigger. Living small is always a compromise. How small and cheap you can live depends on how much you want to compromise. Thinking about it i would like to have a just little bit bigger pod. Kind of a stationary form of teardrop living.
Ah Tokyo, where a coffin to sleep in will still cost you more than $600 a month.