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Our Architectural Adventure at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo

Our Architectural Adventure at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo

Nights to remember at Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. Our first trip to Japan started impressive, different, and somehow adventurous. 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 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.

Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower A night to remember at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Daan on a pedestrian bridge in front of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Street view at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
View from the street across the entrance to the architectural icon © CoupleofMen.com

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 conditions 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.

Street view at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Street view of the capsule tower in the rain © CoupleofMen.com
Street view at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Impressive modern organic architecture in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Street view at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Rainy day in Tokyo’s streets © CoupleofMen.com
Our first stay in Tokyo at one of the architectural landmarks of modern design in Japan © Karl Krause/ Daan Colijn. Copyright Information: It is not allowed to use, alter, transform or build upon our images or written content without our permission. If you are interested in a commercial or non-commercial/ editorial use of our images, videos or texts, please contact us before doing so. We gladly provide you with our rate card.
Corner view of the capsule tower © Coupleofmen.com

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. 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.

A night to remember at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Incredible, minimalistic and light space © CoupleofMen.com
Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower A night to remember at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Karl trying the tiny washroom, toilet and shower © CoupleofMen.com
A night to remember at Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo Japan © CoupleofMen.com
Unfortunately, the shower was not working anymore © CoupleofMen.com

Explore the two towers of Nakagin Tower

Additional to the cubes, there is more to see in the 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:

Nakagin Capsule Tower Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa

Our first stay in Tokyo at one of the architectural landmarks of modern design in Japan © Karl Krause/ Daan Colijn. Copyright Information: It is not allowed to use, alter, transform or build upon our images or written content without our permission. If you are interested in a commercial or non-commercial/ editorial use of our images, videos or texts, please contact us before doing so. We gladly provide you with our rate card.

Interesting articles for your Japan gay travels:

Elevator of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Elevator design… simply wow © CoupleofMen.com
Hallway of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Star Trek in Tokyo: Space-like Hallway exit to the stairs © CoupleofMen.com
Reception at Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Even the Reception looks like from another time © CoupleofMen.com
Lobby of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Lobby to welcome its guests © CoupleofMen.com
Postboxes in the Lobby of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Postboxes in a silver design like at Space Odyssey 2010 © CoupleofMen.com
Entrance Door of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Entrance Door from inside the capsule tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Details in Japanese Design at Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Details in Japanese Design… perfection © CoupleofMen.com
Japanese Design at Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Japanese Design from the 1970s © CoupleofMen.com
Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower Karl loves the futuristic Japanese Design at Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo © CoupleofMen.com
Karl loves the futuristic Japanese Design and couldn’t be more happy to get the chance to stay there © CoupleofMen.com

Book Your Stay or Tour at Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower

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. If you are looking for alternative hotels, have a look at our gay-friendly accommodations worldwide. Next stop on our list: Koyasan and our pilgrimage Kumano Kodo in the Wakayama mountains.

Arrange a stay with Airbnb or Book a Tour:

Do you want to know more? Stay tuned… on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. See you around the world!

Karl & Daan.

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Penny C

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Can I ask for a link to the airbnb booking? Can't seem to find it tbh. By the way love your blog, keep up the good work!

Karl Krause

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Hi Penny, you are right. We double checked with Airbnb and it looks like, that this accommodation is not available anymore (or at least not at the moment). We added the note to our blog article as well. We are super sorry for that, but maybe you are able to find a tour including the capsule tower? We added a link for that as well. Good luck and enjoy Tokyo!