Tokyo: Living Small in the Big City
Tokyo, the world?s most populous megacity, has everything, but space. 35 million people live in Tokyo, and in some areas as many as 20 thousand squeeze into one square kilometre, nearly three times the density of London. How does this technically and aesthetically advanced metropolis shelter so many inhabitants in such a confined area? The challenge has been answered by cutting-edge architects with big ideas about living small. The average home in Tokyo spans just 60 square metres ? three times less than the typical American new home. But small can seem spacious thanks to illusory tricks of light, cleverly-hidden storage and extraordinarily efficient floor plans. One out of every five apartment dwellers in Tokyo has no space for a private bathroom ? so they venture out to one of the city?s 1,100 public bathhouses. Millions who have no room at home for a pet can visit an indoor petting zoo where you can buy some quality time with one of several ordinary yet decidedly pampered felines. And for businessmen who?ve missed the last train home and are seeking to sleep alone, Tokyo?s so-called ?capsule hotels? offer the smallest of all living spaces in the city: sleeping pods about the size of a phone booth ? complete with a TV ? that cost less than a cab ride home.