Japan has no shortage of anime and manga, which feature countless numbers of fictional characters therein. While it is common to find products and advertisements featuring such characters, more recently hotels have been attracting attention by offering such “concept rooms” to overnight guests.
At the Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba (Odaiba, Tokyo), the “Project Room-G,” a concept room featuring robot warrior Gandam, based on the eponymous popular comic, opened in June 2012. The reaction has been huge, and since its opening the hotel has been flooded with requests for reservations.
Company mascots have also been enjoying popularity. The Suica penguin used as a mascot to promote prepaid IC cards sold by East Japan Railway Company has been used in a collaborative effort with the Hotel Metropolitan in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, to open a “Suica Penguin Room.” Since first introduced on December 1, 2011, the room has invariably been booked within 3 to 5 minutes of the time sales commence. To meet demand, sales have been extended to March 31, 2014 and one more room has been added.
At the Highland Resort & Spa operated by Fujikyuko Co., Ltd. in Yamanashi Prefecture, offers an “Evangelion Room,” decorated with motifs based on the comic character Rei Ayanami, female pilot of the “Evangelion Unit 00.” Since its opening in March 2011, the room has enjoyed great popularity. In addition to being decorated with life-size figures of Ms. Ayanami, guests can receive a wake-up call from the character’s voice. The room is also festooned with a number of gimmicks, including reproductions of the artist’s original sketches, beds specially designed in the shape of an “entry plug” capsule, and other items that appeal to dyed-in-the-wool fans. In addition, several other hotels around Japan are offering rooms with anime or corporate character themes. These include the Beppu Bay Royal Hotel in Oita Prefecture (featuring Sanrio Corp.’s character Hello Kitty) and the Hotel Amsterdam at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture (featuring One Piece).