In a typical Japanese neighbourhood of Takasago, for Plarail lovers, Cafe Plataku (カフェ プラたく) is pretty much a dream coming to life. With many themed cafes in Japan, it was only a matter of time for someone to come up with a Plarail cafe, and Cafe Plataku does it really well.
This is the first sight that you will see when entering Cafe Plataku.
The towering diorama sits near the entrance alongside some dining tables, along with a Tokyo Skytree model.
The diorama even extends around the roof of the cafe with clear acrylic bases for a good view of the passing trains.
Rare trains are also on display, not running on the diorama.
Other trains are also displayed on the walls around.
Various Tobu Railway Plarail on display.
Cafe Plataku has a nice collection of rare Plarail monorails too. Here’s the Tokyo Monorail 10000 series.
A green Disney Resort Line Monorail.
A paper model of the cab car of the Tama Toshi Monorail.
The Shonan Monorail, the first suspended monorail in Japan.
Outside of Japan
Cafe Plataku has a nice collection of non-Japanese Plarail too, which is considered to be rare in Japan as they are not allowed to be sold there despite being a Japanese brand. Here’s the rare Bangkok BTS Siemens Modular Metro.
A Hong Kong MTR M-Train.
A Taiwan Puyuma Express TEMU2000.
Children’s Play Area
For kids, there is a separate play area for, you guessed it, Plarail.
The actual toys in use are of a mix of brands though.
A local kid playing with wooden block trains.
Parts also come from various sources such as Daiso.
The play area is by the rare trains display, but I guess Japanese kids don’t crash into structures unlike every other non-Japanese kid in the world.
Not many would say this of a dining establishment, but you could say that the toilet is the highlight of Cafe Plataku.
A long forgotten series of Plarail, the Plarail Hikarian Railroad was a short-lived anime which ran in 1997 and ceased shortly after. These were the first generation of convertible Plarail models into characters.
Plarail Advance can also be seen at the side while you do your business.
Some normal Shinkansen models can be seen on top, with a strange chrome 200 series 6-car train which I’ve not seen before.
The sink isn’t spared from the Plarail displays too.
Modern Plarail models skirt around the sink pipes, cleverly covering it.
Progressing generations of commuter trains are above the mirror.
An article of Cafe Plataku in a railway magazine.
The owner has also provided a map of attractions and other food options in the vicinity.
Time to head to a table to dine in the cafe, since it does function as a food establishment after all.
A sweet blue Plarail drink which I ordered by pointing to the picture on the menu (and the プラレール word helped).
A tomato-based spaghetti which tastes sweet too.
My meal at Cafe Plataku with a side of second-hand coaches.
For dessert, I ordered the Keikyu special of milk ice cream with chocolate and sweet slices.
For all Plarail fans, one of they key pillars of the hobby is to spend money on trains, and Cafe Plataku provides this (painful) experience as well.
There is regular Plarail hung on the wall like a normal shop.
Below it, there are tubs of used Plarail trains and parts which you can pick up for a much cheaper price.
Hung on the wall shelf are more expensive Plarail based on quality or rarity for non-kid collectors.
Some come without boxes, and their value may have appreciated or depreciated, depending on how rare they are.
Needless to say, the Eurostar costs more than other trains.
An out-of-production Narita Express 253 series and the Yamanote Line 205 series also fetch a higher price than the Keihin-Tohoku Line 205 series without the box.
The rare Keihin-Tohoku Line 209 series fetches a very dear price of ¥8,800.
A chrome Yamanote Line 205 series with no price tag. I didn’t ask for the price though, but it’s probably just for display considering the rarity.
A small selection of used Tomica is also available.
Cafe Plataku-made Items
Cafe Plataku has also made some Plarail keychains with actual Plarail Advance or Plarail McDonald’s Happy Meal train cars. In-house paper models of elevated stations are also available for sale.
Once done with your meal and shopping, head to the cashier for payment. Cafe Plataku accepts cash only.
The rare Plarail Evolta Battery Railway 99 Series sits on top of the cashier viaducts.
If that Plarail experience still isn’t enough, Cafe Plataku offers Capsule Plarail Gashapon outside the cafe too, in case you would like a last Plarail purchase.
Cafe Plataku is a must-visit for every Plarail lover if one comes to Tokyo, or for anyone with kids as they will be able to entertain themselves while waiting for kid-friendly food. If you are a Plarail collector though, do come with a budget in mind or you might find yourself buying a whole shelf of trains on your visit.
Address: 3-chōme-8-16 Takasago, Katsushika City, Tōkyō-to 125-0054, Japan
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/FC8Xu7S4CALThRYq8
Thursday – Tuesday
10.00am – 6.00pm
Closed on Wednesdays