Japan themed hotel train in room mt fuji view Fujikyuko Line Yamanashi Prefecture Highland Resort Spa weird unusual accommodation review photos

Train, uniform and a glorious view of Mt Fuji make this a very Japanese place to stay.

There are many unusual places to stay in Japan, with a number of hotels offering a selection of themed hotel rooms to make your dreams of sleeping with Sanrio characters and Pokémon monsters a reality. If you’re into Japanese trains, however, there’s one place you definitely need to check out — the Fujikyuko Line Room inside the Highland Resort Hotel & Spa adjacent to Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi Prefecture.

This unique railway concept room is a one-of-a-kind guest room recently created with the full cooperation of staff from Fuji Sanroku Electric Railway, which operates the Fuji Kyuko Line.

We were invited to stay one night on the house so we sent our train-loving reporter Masanuki Sunakoma along for the ride. When he arrived, the fun started at check-in, where he received a special card key and signed off on renting a duralumin case containing a brake valve handle, a lever handle (to change the direction of travel), and ticket gate scissors (a tool for cutting tickets).

▼ The special card key reads: Fuji Sanroku Electric Railway

All these items instantly made Masanuki feel like a railway company employee, before he even stepped foot in the room.

Taking his card key and case with him, staff led Masanuki up to his room to begin his shift as a faux railway worker…but first he had to find the room, a task that staff told him would be easy.

Sure enough, there was no mistaking which room was his, as the door had a nameplate attached to it that read, “Fuji Sanroku Electric Railway “. According to staff, the nameplate has the same design as the one at the entrance to the headquarters of Fuji Sanroku Electric Railway Company, so this was a nice way to transport guests to the world of railway travel.

▼ All that was left to do now was open the door to that railway world. What surprises are hidden inside?

▼ Woah…

As soon as he entered the room, Masanuki saw what appeared to be a luggage rack and window frame from an actual train. The scenery outside the window was a beautiful view of Mt Fuji in winter, chosen by rail enthusiast Yusuke Minamida of Railway BIG4, who supervised the room’s design.

The rack even featured actual leather hand straps, which would’ve supported hundreds, if not thousands, of hands over the years.

▼ Now it was time to step through the noren curtain…

Masanuki let out another gasp as he saw the entrance to the main area of the room had yet another train-related feature — the bellows section from the connecting part of a train! He’d never seen anything like it in a hotel room before, and the fact that it still maintained its rustic, well-worn look, without being polished or cleaned to look new, gave it even more charm.

Stepping through the doorway, Masanuki felt as if he were moving from one train carriage to another, but what he stepped into didn’t look like a carriage.

▼ In this room, there was a bed, and…

▼ …and…a train!!!

The visuals made a powerful impact, with the “face” of the lead vehicle of a 1202 model train looking like it had just driven through the wall of the room! The train is 4/5 to scale, and the headlights and destination signs look just like the real thing.

What makes this design feature even more impressive is the fact that it’s not a gimmick — the “train” contains real equipment from a real railway vehicle, and you’re free to use it to your heart’s content during your stay.

The faithfully reproduced crew cabin contains lots of real equipment, including the driver’s cab, with its start valve/master controller, conductor’s switches, crew room door, in-car public address equipment (receiver, switch, and amplifier), and low voltage switchboard.

These parts were taken from the 1000 series 1202 train, which operated on the Fujikyuko Line for 26 years from 1994 until its retirement in October 2020.

This is a fantastic way to allow the hardworking train to live on after retirement, and now it was time to reunite the dashboard with the one of the handles from the metal case.

▼ Staff will do this for guests.

▼ After slipping into the uniform…

▼ …and donning the hat…

▼ …Masanuki was now ready to begin his shift as train driver!

Masanuki had no idea what the controls were for or what he was doing with them, but he loved fiddling with them regardless.

Uniform rentals are only available when a staff member is present, which is why Masanuki’s cheeks are so red with embarrassment in the above photo. Still, after sitting in the driver’s seat for a while, Masanuki began to lose his inhibitions and fully embrace the role of railway employee.

He had fun changing the destination signs on the front of the train…

…and made a few announcements, turning the headlights on as well.

Making the experience even more special is the fact that while you’re in the train, you’re in the perfect position to view the large wall-mounted monitor, which displays sections along the Fujikyuko Line to enhance the realism.

The fun doesn’t stop there, because once you finish your rail duties, you get to enjoy all the special train-related items scattered around the room, including an actual slope marker, a numbered carriage plate, and cushions that replicate the package design of a commercially used snow melting agent (calcium chloride) favoured by the railway.

According to the hotel website, this special room is “packed with unnecessary details”,  showing just how overboard they’ve gone with the experience. Another boon is all the novelty goods, available only to guests who stay in this room.

▼ Guests receive souvenirs such as a replica of a train schedule actually used in the Showa era (1926-1989)…

▼ …as well as a face towel with a route map on it, and Fujikyuko Line Room Commemorative Tickets, of which two types are available.

Oh, and lastly, something that’s not directly related to the railways, but equally spectacular, is the glorious view of Mt Fuji from the window.

There is one thing to be aware of when staying in the room, though, which Masanuki discovered through personal experience.

▼ When he woke up in the morning and saw a train directly in front of him, he was terrified.

If you too would like to wake up in the path of an oncoming train, you’ll want to book this room before everyone finds out about it. The hotel is located right in front of the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, so it’s in a location that’s popular with adults and families, and becoming even more popular now that the park’s terrifying Mt Fuji viewing deck has opened to the public. So be sure to make your reservations early, as they’re likely to fill up as quickly as a rush-hour train!

Hotel Information

Highland Resort Hotel & Spa / ハイランドリゾート ホテル&スパ
Address: Yamanashi-ken, Fujiyoshida-shi, Shin-Nishihara 4-6-1

Related: Fujikyuko Line Room
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