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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Nordic Sauna In Tokyo Capsule Hotel

I seem to have a thing for architecture - I don't know what is good or bad, suffice to say I know what I like.

It's probably why I like LEGO, though yesterday I spent a lot of time packing away about half of the 1- million+ pieces I have into plastic storage containers. My son hasn't been into them in a couple of years, and admittedly that takes a lot of the fun out of it for me - even if we aren't building together, it was nice to have a kindred spirit.

Anyhow... what I have for you today, is a Nordic-style sauna built by Japanese architectural firm Schemata Architects, converting an old capsule hotel in Tokyo into something modern, but classical in form.

The °C (or Do-C) is still a capsule hotel - part of the 9h hotel chain, but it has been revamped and now includes a sauna imported from Finland, rather than use the typical Japanese style bath.

It's an interesting concept, considering that in my view a capsule hotel is a low-cost option for the salaryman who has missed his last train home, and is already a bare bones operation - hence the cramped quarters of the capsule room/hotel.

While the standard capsule hotel room is indeed a hole-in-the-wall, literally, it does come with some luxuries such as Wi-Fi, a TV - and pretty much that's it.

As part of the 9h hotel chain--the maximum amount of time one is allowed to stay in one of the capsule rooms (nine hours)--each capsule room is a claustrophobic 1.1 x 2.2 x 1.1 meter (3.6 x 6.8 x 3.6 foot).

While capsule hotels do have a few vending machines of drinks (pop, alcohol and energy), along with various snack foods, for the morning exit the basics of a washroom are the norm.

But at the new °C hotel, guests are provided a means to really relax after a hard night's drinking with the boys from work for the fifth evening in a row - with the sauna giving them to sweat out the alcoholic impurities.

Now, with nine hours of staying time at the hotel, you get one hour of sauna tie, seven hours of good, relaxing sleep, and one hour to prep and get the heck out of the place and either back to work or come up with a reason as you travel on the train back home on Sunday morning to your wife and family as to why your suit is covered in glitter, your tie has been replaced by a pink thong, and why you have a hand-stamp from a dance club in Roppongi.

If you fail to come up with a suitable excuse, at least you know that the °C  hotel will have a nice place for you to stay at while lawyers become involved in your personal affairs and effects.

Schemata Architects retained the beige color scheme of the capsules, and updated the building's exterior with anti-corrosion paint, and updated the interior with wood to mimic the Nordic sauna appearance.

Work on the project was completed in December, 2017. Bookings are available now, starting at ¥1,900 (~US$17) per stay, which is highly affordable... probably more so after the divorce.

But far as rent goes... $510 for a one month's stay? And there's a sauna? And someone else has to clean the toilet and bathroom just like the wife used to back at her home?

At least you'll be relaxed when the lawyers bend you over.

No... nothing going on over here... but I do marvel at the low cost of "renting" the facility for the evening, when Tokyo - like New York and Toronto et al are stupidly expensive places to live in.

Andrew Joseph

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