Capsule House K influenced the mountain retreat of architect Kisho Kurosawa but now it can be yours for the night.
Japans Nakagin Capsule Tower is shied apart in October 50 years of architecture. Nakagin Capsule Tower was one of the world’s most-known examples of metabolism architectural style with its capsule rooms envisioned like living cells.
Nakagin Capsule Tower
Unique living spaces also have certain unique people to live in, Nakagins final group called themselves Daughter of the Lunar Space Ark. One of them was our Japanese-language reporter Chie Nomura, and although they have seen new places to live, they often have savoring nostalgia for their capsule home. So Chie was extremely happy to be able to learn that theres still a way to enjoy a night in Kurosawa-designed capsule architecture, as the architects former vacation villa is now available as an Airbnb property.
Capsule House K is located in the eastern Nagano Prefecture, near Saku. Built in 1973. The Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train route will take you to Sakudaira Station, close to the house, and from there its about 30 minutes by car through forest to get there.
However, you wont see the door right away when you lift up to the house. Capsule House K built on slope, structure itself below road occupants.
At the very top theres a gate, and passing along it leads to an elevator down to the entrance.
Chie and her friends from mid-November visited and fallen leaves blanketed the steps.
Youre greeted at first by spiral staircase from right and walk to living room on right.
Chie started with checking out the living room, a rustic yet fashionable relaxing area. Capsule House K was designed by Kurosawas son, as was on sale at his fathers property in 2019 – despite some revamping in 2018, has still seen furniture and interior touches that were in the room when it was his fathers private retreat.
Four capsule-style bathrooms attached to living room, one is the kitchen capsule, since it is Kurosawa-designed house.
Nakagin apartments’ modest size cut them off from having kitchens – Chie and her friends scouted to be able to cook together for the first time.
Next theres a sleeping capsule (i.e. bedroom).
This is the closest room to what youd have found at Nakagin, with two big exceptions. First, the ledge around the circular window is invitingly wide, perfect for lounging in with a good book or just a desire to sat down at the sylvan view.
How to get to that, well get to that a little later. Here are five different sleeping pills and a third in the world for sleep.
This one is also well balanced with Kurosawas distinct style. Multiple pieces of entertainment electronics to the walls of the walls. Some of them can’t work, like analog-receiver TV, audio cassette deck, but that gap between the future as imagined 50 years ago and the reality of today is part of what makes Kurosawas architecture so fascinating.
I wouldnt have heard of Nakagin’s fourth tea room capsule as a Japanese-style capsule though!
Traditional tatami reeds, alcove with hanging calligraphy scroll give contemporary feel, contrast between Kurosawas routle and rectangular sliding shoji paper screen covers is intriguing mix of old and new.
Theres even a mizuya, as tea room basins are called, in case youve brought supplies for a tea ceremony.
The tea room also doubles as a bedroom, enough space for two to sleep comfortably in futon laid out on the tatami.
shed brings kimono when Chie had realized Japanese-style room.
From the main bedroom, you’ll find the spiral staircase at the entrance.
Here youll find a king-size bed, a luxuriously large size in Japan, and also, of course, a further dome-shaped window.
Chie’s room was supposed to be sleeping in, before then, time to cook lunch.
Chie, her friends enjoyed hot pot, made from ingredients they’ve bought at Sakudaira Station and tofu with locusts, which get eaten in some rural villages of Nagano after some prep-work.
Chie stopped by her home center near Capsule House K for some firewood, since there’s already a fireplace, a trend theyll never find in Japanese houses.
Group giddily roasted marshmallows, then turned on sophistication switches, sipped wine by the flames.
After that time it was time for a shower, the second special thing of the first sleeping capsule. The capsule comes with the same bathroom, shower/tub as the apartments at Nakagin, but with one important difference: hot water!
Ten Nakagin apartments shut off hot water in 2010 after pipes damage, plus last 10 or so residents shared on-site shower room for 10 years. H2T was plentiful here, though theres just one shared bathroom/bathing room for the whole house, and Chie hoped that we could finally have a good capsule bath.
After a few rounds of surprisingly intense Jenga (using a special set modeled after the Nakagin Capsule Tower), it was time to get some sleep, though not without a few moments spent admiring the almost mystical-looking view out the windows.
Chies group’s early risers had enough time for the day nature stroll, late-risers would get all the sleep they wanted.
Her last selfies, group shots have been perfect, but she did have less time than expected.
Capsule House K doesnt take guests during winter, but will again welcome travels from mid-April. Capsule House K is like a quiet night with 200,000 yen (US$1,515) a night, but it seems like just a few people needed to relax.
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