By KAZUHIRO NAGASHIMA/ Staff Writer
January 23, 2022 at 07:00 JST
YOKOHAMA--A hotel that was shut down during the novel coronavirus crisis has become a battleground.
The five-story building in Yokohama’s Naka Ward has attracted combat game lovers armed with airsoft guns that fire plastic projectiles and other mock weapons.
Around 30 airsoft events have been held there since the hotel closed in March, drawing around 1,000 competitors for the matches.
One recent weekend, two 10-member teams engaged in a “gun battle” at the large common bathroom.
Some participants hid behind bookshelves lined with comics and waited for a chance to eliminate their enemies.
“We can fight in real-life settings,” said Toru Hosonuma, 29, a regular competitor. “We get pumped up when we mimic the charging scenes seen in action films.”
A five-hour event costs 5,000 yen ($43) to 7,000 yen per player. Rental weapons are available, and many beginner players have joined the action.
The building, which started operations as a hotel in 2002, has also been used for filming of a TV drama and YouTube videos.
Its operator is now seeking other ways to use the existing facilities. Using the kitchen for a food delivery service is being considered.
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