Nights to remember at Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. Our first trip to Japan started impressive, different, and somehow adventurous. So, we didn’t choose a gay-friendly hotel for our first nights in Tokyo. Instead, we used a unique and rare Airbnb offer to stay in an architectural icon, the world-famous Capsule Tower in the Japanese capital city. Designed by the architect Kisho Kurokawa, the capsule tower as a compilation of 140 living cubes is a remarkable building of the Japanese Metabolism and organic architecture, finished in 1972. The building is located right in the center of one of the financial districts of the Japanese capital, Tokyo, Shimbashi. The capsule tower is surrounded by modern skyscrapers, looking a bit lost in the present world.
The world keeps on running while the architectural landmark Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo is threatened by the danger of deterioration. Since most of the capsules are abandoned, leaking rainwater, rust, and no one can estimate for sure how long this remarkable construction in Tokyo, Japan will be open for a visit. Nevertheless, our stay in one of the capsules was a very fascinating and special experience for us. It is, especially for fans of unique architecture, a must-do on their Japan bucket list. Enjoy our photo story of a gay couple stay in Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, Japan, and see the towers through a couple of men‘s eyes.
First nights in Tokyo at the famous Capsule Tower
After arriving at Tokyo Narita Airport, we took the shuttle train to the city center, continuing by Tokyo Metro System to Shimbashi Station. From there it was a 10 to 15 minutes walk to the Nakagin Capsule Tower. It was really exciting to spot the towers of the tower from the distance, not knowing what we will discover. After arriving at the reception of the building and getting the key out of the locker, we took the stairs up to the left tower. But, to be honest, we were shocked about the condition of the building, especially of the stairways.
“Our capsule” was well maintained for its age and equipped with two sleeping opportunities (including bedding), a fridge, a water cooker, a clock, towels, and a bathroom with running cold water and a functioning toilet. Although our cube was “that luxury” compared to many other cubes we saw during our stay, it still was like wandering around a dying beauty, unable to interfere. A sad feeling, but still, we are thankful to get the chance to stay here.
A lot of architectural History – No luxury at all
If you were lucky like we were, and you got the opportunity to stay in one of the Capsule Tower cubes, we have some advice for you: don’t expect luxury, a clean and well-maintained building. See your stay as an expedition back in time, when the idea of building apartment complexes modeled on cellular structures became an influential streaming of modern architecture globally. Since most of the cubes are abandoned or only used as storage places nowadays, the warm water in the capsule tower has been switched off already in 2010. So, the Toilet was still functioning in our cube but for a shower, we had to take a short walk to an apartment just around the corner.
Just so you know: it definitely is a special tip for fans of modern, organic, and metabolism architecture from all over the world who want to take the chance to combine a trip to Japan with a unique historical experience. No one can say, how long that tower will still exist, since several plans to replace the tower with a modern complex are already in the desk drawer.
Explore the two towers of Nakagin Tower
Additional to the cubes, there is more to see in the architectural icon of Metabolism. Once you are “checked in”, you can go and explore the building. Architecture lovers prepare for some painful experiences. Everywhere you will find damaged interior and cubes, leaking water from the docking locations of the cubes, and self-made plastic installations by the residents to keep their small homes as dry as possible. The doors have been open. So, we went all the way up to the rooftop of the Nakagin tower. It was incredibly interesting to see the (old) construction of the Japanese cube tower from outside so close.
Arrange a stay with Airbnb or Book a Tour:
- Stay at an Airbnb: Historical Capsule Tower > (offer appears to be online again)
- or, instead, book an Architectural Tokyo City Tour >
Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa
Interesting articles for your Japan gay travels:
- Find here all Blog Article about our Japan Travels >
- A Gay Couple on a Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Japan >
- Our photos and stories of the 120 temples of Koyasan >
- Gay-friendly traveling: Our Hotel Reviews worldwide >
- All Information for a Gay Couple Road Trip around Iceland >
Book Your Stay at Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower or an Architectural City Tour
As fans of modern extraordinary architecture and gay travel bloggers by heart, exploring Japan and stay for three nights at the Capsule Tower in Shimbashi, Tokyo was just a perfect combination. Putting luxury by side and focus on the unique beauty of an artist/architect thinking out of the box, you will feel the difference to conventional buildings of that time, spicing up your Japan travels.
Arrange a stay with Airbnb or Book a Tour:
- Historical Capsule Tower >(the offer appears to be active again)
- Or Book an Architectural Tokyo City Tour >
Karl & Daan.
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