With an ongoing recession, many unemployed Japanese are being forced to turn to capsule hotels as their full-time residences.

Capsule hotels, once the haven of Japanese salarymen who had missed the last train home, are now seeing a new kind of guest – permanent residents who have been forced to drastically downsize in the current recession. Offering little more than sparsest of accommodations – bunks are typically no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, providing a light, a small TV with headphones and basic linens – and affording little privacy – beds are stacked two high and side-by-side with thin screens instead of doors – the hotels are a far cry from home, but in light of this widespread development, small considerations are being made to improve conditions. The hotels have begun extending discounts to long-term dwellers and the Japanese government has given these tenants permission to register the hotels as their official residences, enabling people to more easily seek employment.

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