Kyoto's 'luxury' capsule hotel 9h finally opens

Kyoto's 'luxury' capsule hotel 9h finally opens

From December 9, Japan's capsule hotels will no longer be exclusively grimy. We just hope a branch of 9h comes to Tokyo soon
9h hotel
A view of the 9h capsule interiors from a design exhibition earlier this year. If a capsule hotel gets its own design exhibition, you know it's going to be good.

Over the last year, the 9h hotel in Kyoto has been making waves in both the global design and hospitality industries thanks to its "luxury" approach to the capsule hotel. Finally opening for business on December 9, 9h ("nine hours") will no doubt be a favorite of backpack travellers with good taste.

9h is the brainchild of industrial designer Fumie Shibata from Design Studio S. Most capsule hotels are grimy affairs, primarily intended as expedient sleeping solutions for drunk salarymen who have missed the last train home. For 9h, Shibata reimagined this basic idea of bunking in a private tube in context of brainy design theory.

The result is an elegant and minimalist lifestyle solution. The name 9h comes from "nine hours," since patrons should be spending one hour on showering, seven on sleeping and one on "resting." (Customers can stay up to 17 hours.) A fancy Panasonic clock system in the capsule works with your biorhythms to ensure the soundest sleep. Sleek black amenities are also available.

Kyoto, a city famed for its aesthetic discernment and cultured take on tourism, makes the ideal location for the first 9h. We hope that this first location succeeds so the developers will open up a Tokyo branch relatively soon.