© ninehours

The pod hotel phenomenon has been around since the late 1970s, but if you think the novelty has worn off, think again. Since architect Kisho Kurokawa‘s iconic structure was inaugurated in Osaka, the capsule hotel has seen a multitude of different properties popping up across Japan, but wasn’t until ninehours burst onto the scene almost a decade ago that an entirely new format with a distinctly modern feel was introduced. Design-led, tech-driven, and flaunting a sharp brand identity created by Masaaki Hiromura, the launch of its first property marked a new era for this specific hospitality format.

Since then, ninehours has grown into a chain with ten outposts nationwide, opening its newest property in Tokyo‘s Asakusa district. Based on the simple addition of overnight time spent at a hotel when traveling – that’s taking a shower: 1 hour + sleep: 7 hours + getting dressed: 1 hour = 9 hours – the ninehours concept offers a streamlined urban stay that’s unmatched on more than one level. Situated in a nine-storey modern structure, designed by acclaimed architect Akihisa Hirata, the pods can be found from the second floor upwards, and both male and female guests have designated areas.

As the entire ground floor and part of the second floor are occupied by a coffee parlour – it’s quite a good one, actually – the reception desk can be found on the top floor. Adding up to the hotel’s modern lifestyle vibe are a set of facilities that makes your stay even better, including a relaxing lounge, a small work space, and even a gym. Oh, that coffee parlour? It’s the second outpost in town of Fuglen, a cult coffee roaster, café and also vintage furniture brand based in Oslo, and similar to its previously opened branches, it’s high on style.

Peppe Trulsen, the company’s head of vintage design, has furnished the premises with original Norwegian mid-century, set design against a backdrop of timber paneling and concrete floors. Fuglen‘s menu lists a variety of popular coffee concoctions during the day, but also a range of cocktails and beers after sunset. Marking the opening is a collab effort with the chef Shinobu Namae of gourmet haven L’Effervescence, resulting in a special Norwegian waffle that can be readily ordered with your coffee. Location: ninehours, 2-6-15 Asakusa (Asakusa).

© ninehours