These Floating Capsules In Japan Are Available To Rent, As Long As You Don't Mind Living In A Floating Shoebox — VIDEO

The small prefabricated pods that make up the Nakagin Capsule Tower look more like LEGOs than apartments, but these tiny homes in Tokyo were made for human habitation — and adventurous travelers can even rent one and try it out for themselves. Built in the city’s Ginza District in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower anticipated our current trend for tiny homes and small living, packing an entire apartment into a 2.5 by 4 meter block. Designed by Kisho Kurakawa, the building was intended to provide a home base for businessmen who commute into the city, and was constructed on a premise of sustainability. Each pod locks separately onto a concrete tower with only four bolts, the idea being that, when the pod need to be refurbished or replaced, it could be removed individually as needed, thus eliminating the need to renovate an entire large building.

The tower has fallen into disrepair in the decades since its construction. Although some people still do use the little pods as apartments or offices, many of the pods are uninhabited or no longer fit for use. A video shot by Kirsten Dirksen for FairCompanies takes us on a tour of a couple of the usable apartments. Although tiny, each one provides a number of amenities, including a mini-fridge, television, a full bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower (though Dirksen’s guide explains that hot water is no longer available), and storage tucked along the walls and under the bed.

An ingeniously designed desk unfolds from the wall:

And here’s what a family looks like tucked into the little space:

It’s not clear what will happen to the unusual building in the future, with some residents voting to pull it down and rebuild, and other people wanting to preserve the tower’s unique architecture. Tourists with a taste for tiny living can rent one of the pods for a night or more. What they lack in comfort (The apartment doesn’t have a functioning shower, for example), visitors may make up in getting to experience first hand a creative architectural experiment. Those of you who aren’t heading to Tokyo any time soon can check out the full tour of the apartments in Dirksen’s video:

Images: Youtube (6)