Can you turn bare-minimum hotel rooms into practical professional pods?

Japan’s capsule hotels, as you can guess from their name, are all about cramming as many lodgers as possible into a small space. As you can also probably guess, they’re not exactly the most popular kind of accommodation right now, with the coronavirus pandemic causing a lot of people to postpone their travel plans entirely, and those that are taking trips are generally opting for more spacious, separated rooms.

So the branch of capsule hotel chain Anshin Oyado Premier located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood decided to repurpose an entire floor of its sleeping compartments into a rental workspace area. Generally, capsule hotel sleeping slots are long and low, leading some guidebooks to refer to them as “rent-a-coffins.” That obviously isn’t a configuration conducive to getting work done in, so Anshin Oyado removed the ceiling/floor between the top and bottom compartments on its fourth floor, creating a row of double-high office spaces.

Step inside your personal professional domain, and you’ll find a comfy chair, desk, and a whole bunch of power outlets (five standard and two USB). There’s free Wi-Fi, and Anshin Oyado loans out wireless mice, wireless keyboards, headsets, smartphone chargers, and even printers free of charge. Basically the only things you have to bring are your laptop and, if you’re going to be staying a while, its power cable.

In addition to interior lighting, each workspace also has an air purifier mounted on the wall.

There’s no solid door to your workspace, but you can roll down both the top and bottom curtains for complete privacy.

While the capsule office isn’t particularly wide, you get a high ceiling, and far more length than you’d get in a regular office cubicle (it’s originally sized to be long enough for you to lie down and sleep in, after all). So while you may not have a ton of floor space, the layout keeps it from feeling claustrophobic, and the cozy yet adequate dimensions helped our field reporter Mr. Sato concentrate and stay on task during his shift.

▼ If Mr. Sato’s hair looks different than you remember it, this is the reason why.

But again, this is a capsule office, not a cell. If you need to stretch your legs or give your brain a break, there’s a drink bar with complimentary unlimited soft drinks on the third floor, and the building also houses a convenience store that sells snacks and light fare. There’s even a Japanese-style bath that male customers can take a soak in.

▼ No cameras allowed in the bath, of course, so we couldn’t snap our own picture, but please enjoy this illustraiton of Anshin Oyado parent company Pasela’s famous honey toast making use of the facilities.

Anshin Oyado charges 500 yen (US$4.75) for a one-hour work capsule rental, which is a generous deal if you subtract the ordinary price of a soft drink or two that you’ll get to drink for free. Two hours will cost you 1,000 yen, and prices top out at 3,000 yen, which gives you a capsule office for the whole day from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Location information
Anshin Oyado Premier (Shinjuku Ekimae) / 安心お宿プレミア(新宿駅前店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku0ku, Shinjuku 4-2-10

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he could really go for some honey toast right about now.

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