Business

Minimalist hotel targets tourists at Kansai International Airport

Kyodo, Staff Report

A hotel with 153 high-end capsule-type guest rooms recently opened at Kansai International Airport in Osaka to cater mainly to foreign visitors.

First Cabin Kansai Airport, located in the Aeroplaza commercial complex near Terminal 1, offers two types of rooms — one dubbed “first class” with 4.4 sq. meters of floor space and a “business class” room about half that size.

Though the rooms are much more spacious than real capsule hotels (you can stand in them), they are effectively minimalist hotel rooms with thin walls, no toilets and flimsy, unlockable doors.

First Cabin has separate floors for men and women and a communal bath on each. The rates range from ¥6,200 to ¥7,200 ($56 to $65) per night, with 94 rooms for men and 59 for women.

The capsule hotel is the 10th such facility run by First Cabin Inc. in Japan. The company is mainly targeting inbound travelers, particularly those using overnight or early morning flights.

“We would like to serve guests with reasonably priced but high-quality accommodations,” Tadao Kimachi, president of First Cabin, said.

Customer demand for this type of accommodation is high because train and bus access is limited from late night until early morning. Some passengers thus spend the night before flying sleeping on benches in the passenger terminals.

Meanwhile, passengers who fly in to the airport during those hours also need simple and cheap accommodations because they often find it hard to secure a place to stay in downtown Osaka.

Narita airport, Japan’s biggest gateway to the world, has a similar minimalist hotel called nine hours, which opened in July 2014.