Claustrophobia-inducing photos of Japan’s ‘capsule apartments’


(Via Kotaku)

Kotaku recently unearthed frames from a Japanese newscast showing Tokyo's so-called "capsule apartments" -- cramped, horizontal living spaces that are really little more than cubbies in the wall.

The units have communal kitchens and bathrooms, enough space to sleep, and not much else: "two-high rows of tubes slightly roomier than an MRI scanner," is how Ben Brazil described them in an article for the Post in 2006.

It's not difficult to see the appeal of the tiny apartments in Tokyo, which the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks as the world's most expensive city. But this type of "housing" wasn't always considered a permanent solution -- they started out as cheap hotel rooms for businessmen who stayed out too late working or drinking, reports CNN. Somewhere along the way, people realized the capsules' roughly $30/night rate was far cheaper than apartment rents, which can top $4,000 a month for a two-bedroom.

See more photos of the apartments, via Kotaku, below.

 

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (tinyletter.com/cdewey)

world

worldviews

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read World

world

worldviews

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Caitlin Dewey · March 1, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.