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Capsule hotel, ancient city: sleeping in a Kyoto pod for $40

In the late ‘70s, Metabolist architect Kisho Kurokawa (designer of the Nakagin capsule tower) dreamt up “a hotel for 2001”. The idea was to do away with rooms and implement simple crawl spaces for sleeping. 

Today the capsule hotel concept is well-known in Japan. Originally popularized by businesspeople who missed the last train, these sleeping pods have been given a sleeker makeover.

Located near Kyoto’s Gion (the traditional geisha district), 9 Hours has re-developed the capsule concept befitting the iPhone generation: the pods are minimal, functional and easy to use (thanks to the icons on the walls and floors).

The *faircompanies family spent a night in these affordable ($40/night) pods and found these sleep crawl spaces (220 cm long by 108 cm wide and high) surprisingly spacious (even for sharing with a toddler).