There aren’t many frills at the Nine Hours hotel, but when you’re only staying for a nap or a layover between flights, soft sheets and a dark space are pretty much all you need.
Nine Hours is a Japanese chain of pod hotels started in 2009, with each chain designed to accommodate people for between one and nine hours depending on their needs.
For $US44, guests gain access to a private pod, sleepwear, and access to the bathrooms and lounge. Or for $US7 you can just take a shower.
Here’s what the express hotel is all about.
The five locations include Narita Airport, Kyoto, Sendai, Shinjuku-North in Tokyo, and a women-only location in Kanda, also in Tokyo.
Owing to its business model, each location relies on a minimalist design. The reception desk, walls, floors, and lockers are all white.
There aren't even any words, since many of the guests tend to be international travellers. Signs on the floor guide you to your desired location.
The pods are stacked and can be rented on an hourly basis for around $9 an hour for the first hour and $3 for each additional hour. Whole stays, including a light meal, can be purchased for more.
The pods are narrow, but not so tight that guests can sit up and move around. They also come equipped with a night light for reading and fresh bedding that gets replaced and washed after each use.
Some rates are slightly higher depending on the location. The Narita hotel, for example, charges slightly more for naps and showers, since many of its clientele are weary travellers looking to freshen up.
Each location comes with a lounge for guests to use in the hour on either side of their full night's sleep. People can use the time to get work done or simply recharge before starting their day.
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