If designers react to their surroundings, it stands to reason that Japanese designers would have a particular talent for fitting many people into a small space: The country is one of the world's most densely populated, with 339 people per square mile. (By contrast, we have a paltry 84.)
That talent is showcased in the upcoming First Cabin capsule hotel at Kansai Airport, the main hub for getting in and out of Osaka, the country's second-biggest city. In this famously expensive country, each pod will be available to travelers for around $50 when the hotel opens in March 2017.
Guests will have their own handsomely appointed rooms, although some facilities — a welcome area and the bathing space, e.g. — will be shared. Of course, one of the great Japanese experiences is the shared bath, or onsen, and we're sure this will be equally good.
Pundits say the revived trend of capsule hotel rooms now stands to rival the phenomenon of all-night Internet cafés with showers.
Here's one more vote for the former.