Japan’s latest luxury sightseeing train, “The Royal Express,” will begin regular runs along the scenic Izu coastline on September 1st. Though the train made its official debut run between JR Yokohama Station and Izukyu Shimoda Station on July 21st, September marks the beginning of commercial operations. The train which is jointly operated by railway companies Tokyu Corporation and Izukyu Corporation, is distinctive for its elegant royal blue exterior with a dynamic gold flash.[Read more…]
Many of Japan’s larger stations are notoriously difficult to navigate. Especially in the major metropolitan stations travelers must find their way through a complicated network of railway lines operated by different railway companies. Frequent redevelopment has also seen station buildings transformed into enormous commercial centers of maze-like complexity. No doubt there are many people who have the experience of arriving at a station in a timely fashion, only to be at a complete loss how to find their designated meeting spot. On such occasions Google Street View’s new station interior views are likely to prove your salvation! [Read more…]
Fresh details have been released on a joint plan by JR West, Nankai Railway, and Hankyu Railway, working together with the local government authorities of Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture, for the tentatively named “Naniwasuji Line” in Osaka City.
The Naniwasuji Line is a long-standing plan for a new underground railway line that would provide a more direct connection between the Umeda district of northern Osaka and the Namba district of southern Osaka. This in turn would facilitate faster and better rail services between Kansai Airport and the shinkansen terminal at Shin-Osaka Station. [Read more…]
Tobu Railway are to introduce a new electric train this June that will run direct through services between the Tobu Skytree Line and Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line. These trains are fitted with the very latest electric traction motors which will save 25% of the energy currently used by older Tobu trains.[Read more…]
Smoking cars are to be removed from all services on the Sanyo and Tokaido Shinkansen lines by the spring of 2020 – which is just in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Currently, only the Tokaido Shinkansen line (between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka), and the Sanyo Shinkansen line (between Shin-Osaka and Hakata), still have smoking seats on their services.
Clearly a lot has changed since the last Tokyo Olympics in 1964 when passengers could smoke anywhere they liked on a shinkansen. Some 53 years later smoking cars are about to disappear entirely from the Japanese archipelago.[Read more…]
JR East have released plans to utilize wasted food from station shops as a source of biogas fuel. JR East currently have commercial complexes at or near their stations at 160 locations and are expanding shopping facilities within their station premises. Large scale food and drink retail at these facilities has led to extremely high levels of wastage. The new biogas enterprise will recycle this waste to generate energy.[Read more…]
JR East and Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization are working together to renew 40 tourist information centers in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan. Tourist information centers in railway stations across 7 prefectures will have their facilities updated in order to improve services for overseas visitors. The centers will also have their signage standardized with the same logo and slogan as part of the “Exploration to the Deep North” campaign. Signage will be in English, Korean, and Chinese (both simplified and traditional) and the centers’ services will be advertised with pictograms.[Read more…]
Eizan Electric Railway have released a striking new design for a new tourist train which they will debut next spring.
The Eizan Railway operates two lines from Demachiyanagi Station in the north east part of Kyoto city: the Eizan Main Line which runs to Yase Hieizanguchi Station at the base of Mount Hiei, and the Kurama Line which runs to the scenic villages of Kibune and Kurama. Both lines terminate at mountains with historically important temples and both lines are known for the beautiful natural scenery along their 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. [Read more…]
Seibu Railway are launching their new 40000 series S-Train on Saturday March 25th. This new reserved seating through train will run on railway lines operated by four companies: Seibu Railway, Tokyo Metro, Tokyu Corporation, and Yokohama Minatomirai Railway. On weekends and holidays the S-train will run 5 services between Motomachi-Chukagai Station in Yokohama and Hanno and Seibu-Chichibu stations in Saitama. On weekdays the S-train will run 7 services between Tokorozawa Station in Saitama and Toyosu Station in Koto Ward, Tokyo.
A new gourmet restaurant section is to open up at the Ichibangai shopping complex at Tokyo Station’s Yaesu Exit on March 25th. Ichibangai (also called “First Avenue”) is already blessed with many restaurants, cafes and specialist sections such as Tokyo Ramen Street, and the confectionery section Tokyo Okashi Land. The new section is to be called “Nippon Gourmet Kaido” or “Japan Gourmet Street”, and will feature restaurants serving regional specialties from across the Japanese archipelago.[Read more…]