The term Shangri-La was coined by British author James Hilton in his novel “Lost Horizon,” referring to a mythical paradise in the Himalayas. Nobutaro Hara, however, found his utopia on a railway line.
Hara is famous among model-train enthusiasts for being a supreme collector. At his private house, which he has dubbed Shangri-La Train Museum, he has more than 6,000 train-related items, 440 hours of film and hundreds of thousands of pictures. To date, this collection has only ever been shown on an appointment basis, but this summer Hara will bring his toys out for the public.
The Hara Model Railway Museum will officially open to the public on July 10 in Yokohama. The museum, which is operated by property developers Mitsui Fudosan, will exhibit 1,000 models from Hara’s collection. The location is fitting because 140 years ago, the port city of Yokohama was the site of the first railroad in Japan (it connected the city with Shimbashi Station in Tokyo).
Read the rest of the story: Model train buff brings out his toys for everyone.