Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo Japanese Railway Café Closing Down, Last Run On 18 May 2022

Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo Japanese Railway Diorama Café Closing Down

Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo has announced that they are closing down on 19 May 2022. The last day of operations will be on 18 May 2022. The diorama will stop operating earlier from 19 April 2022, which means the last day of diorama operations will be on 18 April 2022.

Initially, not much details were provided by Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo on the reason of closing down other than their “poor mistake”.

A new course menu for customers with children was also uploaded shortly on Instagram which “(THEY) MUST and (they) will order from it”. Customers with children also have “no more excuses and (they) are not to fool around, play games and tricks or to deliberately cause confusion”.

The reason behind this was further explained by an AsiaOne article on the closure of Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo.

Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo owner Isaac D’Souza explains that the “biggest mistake” was setting up the diorama in full public view, which means that the public can watch the diorama from outside without patronising the cafe. This free-riding situation also did not improve even after the cafe set up a privacy screen and implemented a S$10 exhibition fee as some parents would hoist their kids on their shoulders so they could peek over the screen.

Isaac alsop recounts an incident where a woman asked to buy a drink so that her grandson can enter the cafe alone and play with the trains there. Not enough context for this statement was provided by AsiaOne, but let me elaborate a little bit more. Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo charges a seat fee for diorama or formerly Plarail seat, excluding food and drinks. Children also have to be supervised by an adult. The N-scale diorama is not meant for “playing” by children by logic due to small parts.

Previously, a “demolition levy” was charged by Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo to re-setup the former Plarail layout, presumably broken up by children. The Plarail layout has since been removed.

I said previously on the rental diorama discontinuation that this is why we can’t have nice things. It’s sad to see Shinjuku Kissa Tetsudo go so quickly, but kudos to Isaac for giving this Japanese railway diorama café operations a shot in Singapore.

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