Friday, August 6, 2010

Train hotel room in Japan

We all know there are many types of otaku (geek) and they don’t all spend their time playing video games or visiting maid cafes.

The densha otaku (train spotter) is a powerful consumer in Japan. Railway companies take a lot of trouble to create mascots and whole industries of merchandise, and there are countless goods for sale in station shops around the country.

But this is one step further. The Washington Hotel in Akihabara has created a “railway room” to attract densha otaku guests.

The train room features an L-shaped train “diorama”, two meters by three meters in size, with a detailed recreation of a railway snaking around a replica Akiba and Tokyo Tower.

Of course the guest can play with model trains along the thirty-meter track (there are apparently two authentic controllers, so friends can drive the trains together) and even the real thing — the Shinkansen line and Akiba station — is visible from the room’s window.

Though it is possible to rent from the hotel, the Nikkei Marketing Journal reports that many guests bring their own trains to use on the four-line track. The first to stay over was a 23 year-old company employee, followed by a man in his eighties. But there have also been mothers with their kids, so it’s not just strange guys with train obsessions!
The train room opened in June and costs from 23,000 JPY ($265) per night. If you want to make a reservation you will have to wait up to a month! (JapanTrends)

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