Model trains run across while customers enjoy their food at Haruka train café in Japan
For all model train lovers, there is a unique restaurant tucked in Yanagase City’s shopping street in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Haruka, named after the owner’s favorite West Japan Railway express train, is a railroad-themed café owned by Masaki Shingu, a former route and sightseeing bus driver in Nagoya. Situated at the center of the café is a large diorama where N scale model trains run across while customers enjoy their food.
Spending around 1 million yen (around US$9,800) to build a mini-railroad, Shingu’s N scale model trains are around 1:148 to 1:160 in scale, and move around rail tracks that are 9 millimeters apart. Featuring 9 routes, the diorama is 4.4 meters by 2.6 meters in size.
For a complete railway experience, customers can rent their favorite model trains and run them around the diorama for 50 to 150 yen ($0.50 – $1.50) per 10 minutes, depending on the route chosen. Trains can be selected from 30 types, which include a JR Shinkansen and Nagoya Railroad car for 50 to 500 yen per run. Children can also enjoy their time at Haruka as the owner set up a section where kids can play with toys and games while their parents enjoy their model train journey with food.