Japanese Theme Park to Launch Floating Hotel Pods in 2017

They take you overnight to an theme park on a private island.


The Dutch-themed Japanese theme park Huis Ten Bosch, located in Nagasaki Prefecture and named after a Dutch royal residence, has big plans for expansion this year. In perhaps one of the most innovative hotel designs ever to make people scratch their heads and say, “Is that actually real?” the company will launch floating room pods in which guests can drift along in the water, beneath the stars.

Yes, that is actually real. It’s called the Mizukami Hotel.

The spherical pods will be multi-story affairs. The mid-level will contain a sitting area with windows wrapping all around, putting guests closer to the water. The upper floor houses the bed and is topped with a curved glass dome designed to afford a perfect view of the sky as the guests are rocked to sleep — and hopefully not to seasickness — by the waves.

And don’t worry, there are indeed toilets and showers.

Tom Hanks would've killed for one of these in Cast Away. 

The pods alone are likely enough to generate interest — just think of the privacy and relaxation — but Huis Ten Bosch’s plans are much bigger than that.

The company has also purchased a four-hectare (39,000 acre) uninhabited island in Naruma Bay. It is located roughly four miles from the “port” district of the main theme park, from whence the floating pods will be launched. The pods take the place of a regular ferry and will launch in the evenings to shepherd guests across the water to the island (and presumably back again, afterward).

While the island is currently undeveloped, the company plans to build yet another extension. It has said that this area will be home to numerous (currently unbuilt) augmented reality attractions. Less information has been provided about this element of the park thus far, but it all seems to be intended to function as a mainstay feature of the Mizukami Hotel.

As of now, there’s still a lot that’s unclear about these plans. For one thing, the company still has not said how exactly it plans to ensure the floating pods actually reach their destination and not, say, the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It certainly can’t rely simply on currents and winds to get the job done. That will mean some sort of propulsion is required, although it will have to be discrete so as not to disrupt the sensation of drifting.

However they plan to do it, more information will likely be available in the coming months, as the park is hoping to open its first two pods to the public by the end of 2017.

The Mizukami Hotel also isn’t the first time that Huis Ten Bosch has made headlines for an innovative and outlandish idea. In 2015, the park opened the Henn-na Hotel, the first ever hotel to be staffed entirely by multilingual robots, one of which is a velociraptor.

Stays in the Mizukami Hotel will reportedly cost about $300-500 per night.

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