Nakagin Capsule Tower

After a night at the capsule hotel 9 hours Narita, I also wanted to experience a stay at the historical Nakagin Capsule Tower which inspired the creation of capsule hotels. It’s a fantastic building from the 70ies planned by the architect Kisho Kurokawa.




IMG_4836I booked us a room through Airbnb and today was the day. Check-in was from 2pm. We were a bit early and therefore had time to walk around the building and take pictures.

IMG_4802For checking in we received detailed instructions how to find to tower, how to get the key, which elevator to take etc. As the capsule is rented out privately there is no reception service. The owner just put the key into the mailbox.

That’s the entrance to the building. Not very nice. And quite unwelcoming… “No Trespassing”, “No visitors” etc. But I guess they have a constant flow of architecturally interested people from around the world who want to pay their respect to this building :-)

IMG_4834Right next to the entrance an army of vending machines…

IMG_4833and a little bit of green.

IMG_4835The mailboxes where we found our key.

IMG_4846 The way to the elevator. We had to take elevator B.

IMG_4850 There are two towers, tower A and tower B and we had to go up to level 9 in tower B.

IMG_4821The towers are connected by a couple of bridges where you can cross from one tower to the other. One of them was just on our floor. They seem mainly used for trash collection and by smokers.

IMG_4823 The capsules which face the bridges have sight protections that you cannot look into them. Very considerate.

IMG_4826We then walked to our capsule and had to get up a few stairs as the capsules are positioned spirally around the center with elevator and stairways. Ours ended up being closer to floor 10 than floor 9.

The capsule itself is about 10m2 large (or small…). The left side was covered by cupboards for storage and some of them you could fold out as tables. There was an old refrigerator (not working) and apparently there used to be a kitchenette.


IMG_4816 On the right side there was a bathroom. Kind of a capsule in the capsule. Unfortunately, the shower is broken but you can still use the toilet and the sink (although the water drains veeeery slowly).



IMG_4817The owner is part of a group who would like to save the tower as there are plans to demolish it and build some high-rise building. So there was quite some information about the tower, the architecture and their plans. As well as instructions for the use of the capsule.

IMG_4819And then there was the couch which also functioned as a bed. The description when booking said something about “squeeze” and as we both aren’t on the heavy side we thought it would be OK. Well, it wasn’t. We tried it out and snuggled up and of course we both fit on it, but we couldn’t imagine to spend a whole night like that and finally decided to go home again…. :-)

I’m not frustrated about it. We experienced the tower and the capsule. The charge will hopefully be used for the campaign to save the tower. And we will be sleeping in a more comfortable bed tonight. Good night!

One thought on “Nakagin Capsule Tower

  1. Pingback: Sunday bike ride – Esther goes East

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