The Japanese answer to the hostel, the capsule hotel, debuted in Osaka in the late 70s as a way to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation to businessman. Stripped down to the bare necessities of a hotel room, individual pods the size of a single bed are stacked together while also offering other amenities like high-speed internet access, bathing facilities, toiletries, etc. Traditionally, the budget accommodation has had a shabby reputation. Today, however, a slew of second wave capsule hotels are trending towards modern, sleek and stylish designs.
One of the latest additions to Japan’s expanding luxury capsule hotel market is Nine Hours, the capsule hotel chain—named for the maximum length of stay—that recently renovated ºC (Do-C) Ebisu. Tokyo-based firm Schemata Architects has headed the overhaul of the aging hotel, which will be the first renovation project for the hotel chain.