JR East will introduce a new limited express service on the Tokaido Main Line this spring which will be called the Limited Express Shonan. The new service will run between stations at Shinjuku/Tokyo and Odawara. This train will replace the current Shonan Liner, Ohayo Liner Shinjuku, and Home Liner Odawara services. Although this is a commuter train service it may well be useful for sightseers, because Odawara is the location of a popular castle and hot spring resort and is also the gateway to the Hakone and Izu hot spring regions.[Read more…]
JR East is currently testing shinkansen cars as designated teleworking spaces on the Tohoku Shinkansen route which runs between Tokyo and northern Japan. Designated office cars are now available on between eight to ten shinkansen trains a day and the trials will continue until February 26th.
The trials are a response to the recent accelerated spread of remote working and if the office cars prove popular, the plan is to remodel cars as work spaces on other shinkansen routes between Tokyo and Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama.
Currently, talking on a mobile phone is discouraged within train cars as it disturbs other passengers. However, within the designated office space passengers can freely take work-related calls and full online meetings are also permitted. Any passenger can freely move from their seat in an ordinary car to use the designated office car at no extra cost. And there is also a decided seating plan so that passengers can do their work at a sufficient distance from each other. Sound-masking technology has been installed to give passengers more privacy and remote routers are also freely provided to ensure a more reliable internet connection.
The office car trials have been organized in cooperation with the telecommunications operator KDDI and after the initial proof-of-concept trials are completed the further expansion of the program is likely to go ahead this spring.
Article by Michael Lambe. Image courtesy of JR East. All rights reserved.
Chiba Prefecture’s Isumi Railway will run a special train tour for 20 starry-eyed passengers on February 6th this year that will feature an on-board planetarium and a stop at a rural station for direct observation of the night sky.[Read more…]
Tokyo Disney Resort is a major attraction on Tokyo Bay which includes two massive theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Although bus services are available, the most enjoyable and convenient way to visit Tokyo Disney Resort is to travel by train. Visitors can transfer directly from JR Maihama Station to neighboring Resort Gateway Station, and then enjoy a ride on the Disney Resort Line, an automated monorail that runs in a loop around the resort linking all of its major attractions. Last summer, a new six-car train (Resort Liner Type C) began operating on the Disney Resort Line, the first new vehicle to be introduced since the line first opened in 2001. This new train has a two-tone exterior design with white on top and a yellow wave-like pattern flowing beneath.[Read more…]
The Nagamare Kaikyo is a sightseeing train that runs along the scenic coastline of southern Hokkaido. This train’s route runs between Hakodate and Kikonai offering wonderful views of the Tsuruga Straits and Mount Hakodate along the way. Although this train first ran in the spring of 2016 it was voted Japan’s top railway tour train in the very same year.[Read more…]
A new version of the train simulation game “Densha de Go!!” was released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on December 3rd, 2020.[Read more…]
In an effort to entice more domestic travelers to Sapporo this winter, Sapporo City has decided to make its major tourist facilities completely FREE throughout the month of February next year. This is part of a raft of measures aimed at boosting the local tourist industry during what looks likely to be a difficult winter season.
In normal years Sapporo would see its highest tourist numbers in February because of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, but next year there are plans to hold the festival on a much reduced scale and it is feared that tourist numbers will fall dramatically as a result [Read more…]
JR Kyushu have announced details on the introduction of a new six-car high speed train called the “Kamome” which will run on the Kyushu Shinkansen’s new western route. This new branch of the Kyushu Shinkansen will run between Takeo Onsen and Nagasaki and is due for completion in 2022.[Read more…]
This month JR Hokkaido celebrated its 140th anniversary with the launch of a new multi-purpose limited express train called the Hamanasu. The Hamanasu is the first Kiha #261 5000 series train which as well as running regular express services, will also function as a special sightseeing train and provide extra services during busy periods. The second Kiha #261 5000 series train will be called the Lavender and will be introduced in April 2021.[Read more…]
This autumn JR Kyushu will debut a new tourist train called the “36 plus 3”. Running a complete circuit of Kyushu over a five-day period the new train will have a six-car formation with 103 seats. All cars will be first class Green Cars with options for gourmet lunch and dinner menus featuring the very best local cuisine.[Read more…]