Sotetsu Hotels have opened a “Railway Concept Room” in a hotel in Kyoto which is decorated with parts taken from an old Sotetsu #7000 series train. This train ran on the Sagami Railway (also called Sotetsu) in Kanagawa Prefecture from 1975 until 2019. The idea behind the room is to raise awareness of the Sagami Railway in regions outside Kanagawa. The room was opened in Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto Shijo-Karasuma in early July and is now taking bookings.
The Concept Room actually occupies two connecting rooms in the hotel: a Double Room and a Deluxe Twin. In addition to a drivers cab from a #7000 series train, there is also seating from an #8000 series train, old train front nameplates, and destination signs.
One of the nameplates is the “Last Run” plate that was used on the #7000 series when it was officially retired in 2020.
Bed throws and cushions are also made with fabric from Sotetsu train seats and decorated with images of the Sagami Railway mascot, a cat called “So-nyan”.
Although the pandemic has severely hit the travel and tourism business in Japan, many hotels connected to the nation’s railways have developed railway-themed “concept rooms” in recent months. Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji introduced a “Railway Room” in March of this year, and Kyoto Tower Hotel, which is operated by the Keihan Group, have been offering a “Randen Train Room” since June which will be available until June of next year and is filled with memorabilia from the tramline that runs to Arasahiyama district.
However, the Railway Concept Room at Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto Shijo-Karasuma is only available until August 31st of this year, so if you want to stay there, you will need to book it fast!
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of Sotetsu Hotels. All rights reserved.