Hey, do you like trains? And I don’t mean in a “that’s a long train, let’s count the cars” kind of way; I mean like going out and taking hundreds of pictures and traveling hours to see rare locomotives “like” trains.

While there may not be all that many train hobbyists among you, there are plenty of major train enthusiasts here in Japan. And now some of them are living together!


9Stage is a themed sharehouse located in the Koutou Ward of Tokyo. Their theme, obviously, is trains–and the higher your “tecchan” (or “train geek”) rating, the lower your rent! And don’t think you can bluff you way into cheaper rent either–you’ll have to have to the goods to prove it!

If you’ve never heard of tecchan before, they’re people (usually male) who simply love trains. Often they can be seen standing at the very end of platforms, snapping photos as trains roll in. And Japan, with its expansive railway network, is certainly a great place to be a tecchan!


The sharehouse, which opened in March, is getting ready to celebrate its three-month anniversary with a free event. People will be able to tour the house, check out the various train models, and take part in other activities–though it is necessary to sign up in advance. If you’ll happen to be in Tokyo on June 16 and want to attend, click here! (Link is Japanese only.)

So, why would people want to live here? Well, the house is based on six “concepts.” The first (and probably the most appealing) is being able to build massive operable train and railway models. The other major plus is the community: you’ll always have a house full of people to chat with about trains! Other things mentioned on their website are regularly scheduled events, a good stock of photos and magazines, and a plethora of train-related goods, like train-themed chopsticks.


As we mentioned before, the higher your tecchan rating, the lower your rent. But how, exactly, do you measure someone’s geekiness? Well, for our train-loving friends, it’s easy. For every N-gauge train car (N-gauge is a type of model train) you bring to the house, you get 50 yen (about US$0.49) off your rent. So if you have 100 of them, you’ll save 5,000 yen (about $49.92) every month! If you happen to have some B-Train Shorty cars, a shorter type of model train, each one will get you 25 yen off.

As my knowledge of trains ends with “this is how I get to work,” this probably isn’t the place for me. But for those who love trains, it certainly seems like a veritable paradise!

Now if only there were a ramen sharehouse. I wouldn’t mind living there…

Source: ITMedia, 9Stage
Image source: 9Stage