Work has begun on a major renovation of Katase-Enoshima Station in the popular sea-side resort destination of Fujisawa. The station, first built in 1929, is popular for its distinctive “Dragon Palace” design, but after 90 years of use its overall condition has deteriorated and it is clearly in need of repair. It is to be rebuilt in a similar Dragon Palace style, and work on the building should be completed by 2020.[Read more…]
JR Central has announced a comprehensive expansion plan for its free wireless LAN Wi-Fi service beginning this spring.
Free Wi-Fi will be expanded to all JR Tokaido Shinkansen stations between Tokyo and Osaka. Currently free W-Fi is only provided at 6 stations: Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Shin-Osaka. But from March 2018 this service will be extended to the remaining 11 stations. As the number of overseas tourists using the Tokaido Shinkansen is increasing, JR Central has decided to make it easier for them to obtain travel information with their smartphones. Areas where free Wi-Fi is available will be marked with a sign. Typically these signs will be found by ticket gates or in station waiting rooms. [Read more…]
Eizan Electric Railway have announced the debut date for their new tourist train, “Hiei” as well as releasing new details, timetables and fresh images of the train’s striking exterior and interior design.
The Eizan Railway operates a small rural railway network in northern Kyoto. Two lines run from Demachiyanagi Station in the city’s north east: the Eizan Main Line which runs to Yase-Hieizanguchi Station at the base of Mount Hiei, and the Kurama Line which runs to the villages of Kibune and Kurama. Both lines terminate at sacred mountains topped with temples and both lines are known for their super scenic routes. In 1999 Eizan Railway introduced the popular “Kirara” observation car which has large windows so that passengers can fully enjoy the views along the Kurama Line. The new Hiei tourist train is to run along the Eizan Main Line taking passengers to the foot of Mount Hiei. [Read more…]
JR East have introduced a new “guardian” system for parents whose children travel to school by train. This new service is called “Mamorail” which combines the Japanese word for “protect” with the English word “rail”. Under the new system when children use prepaid IC cards such as SUICA or PASMO to pass through station ticket gates an automatic message will be sent to a parent’s mobile phone or smartphone. This notification will include information on the time and location as well as the remaining balance on the card. This way parents will know that their children are getting to school on time, when they are nearly home, and also be able to check when their IC travel card needs topping up.[Read more…]
JR West will open a new station on the JR Kyoto Line called JR Sojiji Station in the spring of 2018. The new station will be located between Settsu-Tonda Station and Ibaraki Station and will also be close to Hankyu Sojiji Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line. Both stations are named after the local Sojiji Temple which is famous for its annual Kitchen Knife Ceremony. Because JR Sojiji Station will be so close to Sojiji Temple the style of the new station building is designed to create the impression that it is a gateway to the temple itself.[Read more…]
Hankyu Hanshin Holdings are currently fine tuning plans for a major new hotel in Osaka’s Umeda district which will be opened in 2019. The new hotel will be part of a massive building now being built by the electronics retailer Yodobashi Holdings. With approximately 1,000 guest rooms the hotel will be the biggest in Osaka City, and with most room rates set under 20,000 yen per night Hankyu Hanshin anticipate that it will be popular with both business and tourist travelers.[Read more…]
Tokyo Station now has a prayer room to serve the spiritual needs of the many Muslim passengers who travel through this major transportation hub. The prayer room was opened in June, and is the first such room at a JR East railway station, though there are some available at airports and hotels in the Kanto region.[Read more…]
In a special collaboration between Echigo Tokimeki Railway and JR West the sightseeing train “Echigo Tokimeki Resort Setsugetsuka” will make a special run on the JR Oito Line on November 12th 2017. This is to mark the 60th anniversary of the complete JR Oito Line’s opening in 1957.[Read more…]
One of Osaka’s most familiar sights, the orange 103 series train, was retired from the Osaka Loop Line on October 3rd, 2017. For almost half a century this distinctive commuter train has run the circular route of Osaka’s most important urban route. However, as part of JR West’s plans to modernize its Osaka operations, a new model of train was introduced in 2016.[Read more…]
This year marks the 70th anniversary of an important date in the history of the Kintetsu Railway company. On October 8th 1947 Kintetsu Railway began to operate their first limited express passenger service between Uehommachi in Osaka and Nagoya. This was actually the first pay-to-ride limited express service run by a Japanese private railway company.[Read more…]