Train enthusiasts line up for Japan hotel's railway room

Wed Sep 1, 2010 8:02am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Some hotels use luxurious spas or spectacular views to attract guests but one hotel in Japan boasts a unique attraction in its star room -- a large, built-in train set.

The Washington Hotel in Tokyo's Akihabara district, which is famous for electronics shops, has built a train set into a 13th floor twin room that features a model Tokyo Tower, a mosaic of the city's neighborhoods and the resort area of Hakone.

Guests can run their own trains in the room or borrow one from the hotel for 1,000 yen ($12).

"We created something that's both rare and interesting, but at the same time typical of the district where the hotel is situated," said hotel spokesman Yoichi Watanabe.

"The railway room is popular with train maniacs who start playing immediately from the moment they enter the room until check-out, as well as with families bringing little children to escape the scorching sun during summer holidays."

Train-lovers pay up to 25,000 yen ($300) -- or twice the single room price -- for the room where the train set spreads over four square meters and has taken over the area of one bed.

The room, which overlooks the Shinkansen bullet train railway, also features a display of train models, photos of old locomotives and railway-related DVDs.

Watanabe said the room has been in hot demand since opening in May with bookings now being made more than a month in advance.

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

<p>A built-in train set is seen next to a bed in a hotel room in Tokyo, August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski</p>