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Sleep Capsule Hotels: Tokyo Idea Now Popular Worldwide

What do you do if you have an overnight layover in an international airport and all you want to do is sleep? Do you clutch your belongings as close to you as possible and spread out — legs over armrest — over several coveted airport seats? Or, do you push your bags up against the wall and use your carry-on luggage as a pillow?

Well, if you are in Tokyo, the answer is, none of the above. Instead you can rent a mini sleep capsule hotel room for as long as you want to sleep.

It seems so obvious, right? Create pay-by-the-hour sleeping quarters for anyone on long trips needing a nap. It's not that obvious, I guess.

sleepboxIt would seem that up until recently, only Japan offered mini capsule hotels for its sleepy, work and traveling patrons. These capsules can range in size and price, generally 7 feet by 3 feet and $10-20 per hour, sometimes around $30 for 8 hours.

But, in recent years, many other countries have picked up on this trend and started to also offer sleep capsules or "napcabs.” Some countries have even gone into the luxury sleep capsule business, offering larger spaces with amenities such as flat screen TVs, wi-fi, and laptop desks.

One such sleeping accommodation, called the SleepBox, is the design of Russian developer Arch Group, and features a 2-bunk bed, mirror, folding laptop desk, wi-fi, TV, and an outlet for a plugin device.

London's Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, New York, Moscow, Amsterdam, Atlanta, and Antwerp, Belgium have all begun to offer mini-accommodations for cheaper than standard hotel rates.

But, the original sleep capsule hotel belongs to and will always be the Capsule Inn in Tokyo, Japan. With rows upon rows of sleep capsules, stacked several high, this experience is surely a once in a lifetime stay.

"A typical Capsule Hotel is composed of two major sections; a public lounge space including bathing, and the other is a private space where the sleeping rooms (capsules) are arranged. The actual sleeping room is a capsule unit made of reinforced plastic and designed in the image of a jet airplane’s cockpit. In the capsule unit, all the required amenities are provided; TV, radio, alarm clock, adjustable lighting… almost everything is provided! Every device is within your reach and you can control everything in a sleeping position."

Have you ever slept in a sleep capsule? Have you ever seen a mini hotel or airport sleeping quarters?  Would you stay a night in a sleeping cell such as this? If you have ever experienced a mini hotel or sleep capsule, we would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

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