JR East are moving into the accommodation business with a new hostel for train enthusiasts in Tokyo. Called the “Train Hostel Hokutosei” the new hostel will utilize bunks and cabin fittings from the now defunct Hokutosei sleeper train. Designed by the OpenA architectural firm the Train Hostel will be directly attached to Bakurocho Station in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward.
The Hokutosei was a famous limited express sleeper train that ran a 16 and a half hour journey between Tokyo and Sapporo from 1988 until its final run in August 2015. Named after the Big Dipper Constellation the train was much romanticized, but high speed bullet train services, cheap highway express buses, and affordable domestic flights combined to render the once popular service obsolete. Now rail fans can relive some of the nostalgic appeal of the Hokutosei train by staying in a hostel decked out with fittings recycled from the original carriages.
The new hostel has 78 beds in both dormitories and private rooms. It also has a shower, laundry, shared kitchen area and lounge. Clearly JR East are hoping to attract overseas travelers as staff at the hostel can speak English, and English is also available on the hostel website. JR Bakurocho Station is about 5 minutes from Tokyo Station on the JR Sobu Line. The hostel is also convenient for Higashi Nihonbashi station on the Toei Asakusa Line.
Train Hostel Hokutosei will have its Grand Opening on December 15th 2016 and is now taking bookings for the period up to February 28th of next year. For more details please check the official website.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.