Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pleasure pods

In the early days the Fathership would travel to Japan for work and come back with photos and stories of communal living no different than those of our African ancestors before us. Delicacies, delights and a well defined culture in synch with the steel and glass towers that kiss the sky and leaving the people below in their shadows. He also spoke of pod hotels, or businessmen half way houses – far more affordable than the mega hotel chain counterpart. Why money was an issue, I have no idea. You’d think working for an international oil company would come with some perks. But my Father, like I, had always been incredibly intrigued in compact metropolitan living. So with much zeal he’d crawl in to his “room” and hit the lights. “Beauty sleep.” He said. “I had Kabuki in the morning.”

Unfortunately the recent history of the capsule hotel is rife with negativity. Due to the recession and the global economic down turn these hotels now houses the Sarai. Japan’s “salaried businessmen” floating between jobs and with no home to call their own.  So these buildings sit empty and dark.  Once a symbol of prosperity, now like blemishes scattered across the city surface., where the weary and lonely try to rest their heads.

Hotelier Keisuke Yui is hoping to change all that.  Opening 9h- Nine hours ,a luxury capsule hotel in Kyoto meant to lure the luxe loving foreign traveler and locals alike. Yui promises excellent service, but what I can’t seem to get my head around is the hotel’s monochrome, minimalist and super slick design. Teaming up with designer Fumie Shibata, the duo have created a blissful retreat for the simplistic set.


and yes like you, I find Japan’s current situation incredibly disconcerting, but I think they need a little +ve vibes.

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