Starkly striking wabi-sabi sensibilities are the perfect match for this micro-hotel in the heart of Tokyo.

Japan’s capsule hotels are generally an exercise in compromise. On the plus side, they’re found in extremely convenient city center locations, and also less expensive than regular hotels in the same area. A big trade-off, though, is that capsule hotels are often extremely lacking in any sort of relaxing of elegant atmosphere. After all, you’re basically paying for a box to sleep in, right?

But really, capsule hotels shouldn’t have to be aesthetically unappealing. This is Japan, a country that’s long been able to find beauty in understated minimalism, and that’s the design philosophy of Tokyo’s newest capsule hotel, Hotel Zen Tokyo.

The exterior design looks more like the entrance to a small-batch sake brewery or traditional craftsman’s workshop, and that motif continues on the inside, where the hotel makes use of wood paneling and traditional Japanese decorative motifs.

Things get really impressive, tough, when you pull back the curtain to your bedchamber.

They may not be particularly spacious, but each room contains a piece of distinctly Japanese artwork for you to ponder, as well as a comfortable Simmons mattress to lay back on while you do so.

Five different room configurations are available, all named after types of Japanese flowers. The most basic is the Aoi (hollyhock) which gets you a single-size bed, but also the in-room lockbox and free Wi-Fi that are included with all rooms. The Fuji (wisteria) upgrades you to a semi-double bed, and the Sakura (cherry blossom) provides a bit of floor space with tatami reed floor mats.

▼ Aside from the Aoi, all rooms have a semi-double bed, and all types are for single traveler use.

Tsubaki (camellia) corner rooms provide a window for an outside view, a rarity in capsule hotel accommodations…

…and the top-of-the-line Ran (orchid) is so big it doesn’t even look like a capsule hotel room anymore.

In addition to shared shower facilities and storage lockers for personal belongings, Hotel Zen Tokyo also has a work lounge for on-the-go professionals

…and also a basement-level cafe/bar which serves tea in the afternoons, pours sake at night, and even hosts live musical performances.

As for location, the hotel is a short walk from the Ningyocho subway station, giving it easy access to popular sites like the temples of Asakusa, Ueno Park, Akihabara, and the Ryogoku sumo stadium.

Hotel Zen Tokyo is scheduled to open its doors in early April, and so hopefully its first guests will be able to catch the tail-end of sakura season in Japan’s capital.

Hotel information
Hotel Zen Tokyo / ホテル・ゼン・トーキョー
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 1-5-8

Source: Hotel Zen Tokyo via IT Media
Top image: Hotel Zen Tokyo
Insert images: PR Times, Hotel Zen Tokyo (1, 2, 3)

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Follow Casey on Twttter, where the Ran room looks larger than the bedroom is his old bachelor apartment.