The popular mountain resort town of Karuizawa, known for its hot springs and gorgeous scenery, is to gain a new attraction this autumn in the form of a small railway theme park attached to Karuizawa Station. The theme park is part of Shinano Railway Company’s general redevelopment plans which are meant to lessen passenger congestion in the current station building. These plans also include making use of the neighboring Old Station Memorial Hall which until recently saw service as a museum displaying old railway photos and memorabilia.[Read more…]
Tobu Railway will debut a new set of #500 series trains in the spring of 2017 which will run limited express services from Tokyo to a variety of destinations in northern Japan. The trains named “Revaty” will run from Asakusa in central Tokyo to scenic locations such as Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen, and Aizu-Wakamatsu.
The new train’s sleek design has been overseen by the award-winning industrial designer Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama. Okuyama is best known for designing Ferrari automobiles but has actually designed a large number of other railway vehicles including JR East’s luxury cruise Train Suite Shiki-Shima which is also scheduled to debut this May. [Read more…]
Capsule hotels are one of Japan’s most famous inventions. These basic lodgings packed with tiny sleeping pods are very popular both with single travelers on a budget, and also with long-distance commuters who party too late and miss their last train. For foreign visitors too, staying in a capsule hotel is one of those unique experiences you simply must try when in Japan.[Read more…]
Tobu Railway have announced a new railway station to be opened at Tobu World Square theme park. Tobu World Square Station will be located between Kosagoe and Kinugawa Onsen stations on the Tobu Kinugawa Line and will be formally opened in the summer of 2017. The new station will be 700 meters to the north of Kosagoe Station with one platform and a single track. It is the first new station built by Tobu Railway in 12 years.[Read more…]
JR East are expanding the number of stations that accept Suica cards on the Chuo Main Line that connects Tokyo with Nagoya and the Shinonoi Line in Nagano Prefecture. The service will be expanded on the route between Shimpu Station in Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture and Matsumoto Station in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. Stations on this route that do not currently accept the card will do so from next April, and other stations that currently accept the card for limited services will expand their range of usage.[Read more…]
Craft beer fans will be delighted to know that Kitauchi Brewery have opened a new beer bar at Tokyo Station. The “Hitachino Nest Brewing Lab” has ten varieties of Hitachino Nest Beer on tap, and a special limited edition “Tokyo Station Beer” to celebrate the new bar’s opening on December 1st.[Read more…]
JR East are moving into the accommodation business with a new hostel for train enthusiasts in Tokyo. Called the “Train Hostel Hokutosei” the new hostel will utilize bunks and cabin fittings from the now defunct Hokutosei sleeper train. Designed by the OpenA architectural firm the Train Hostel will be directly attached to Bakurocho Station in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward.[Read more…]
JR Kyushu have released interior design details and images for their new sightseeing train the “Kawasemi Yamasemi”. From next spring the two carriage train will run between Kumamoto Station and Hitoyoshi Station making three round trips every day. The route of the train follows the course of the Kuma River which winds through a scenic forested landscape.
The carriage interiors are inspired by this landscape and will be decked out with cypress and cedar wood taken from the Hitoyoshi/Kuma region. A large part of the timber for this train was actually donated free of charge by the local lumber industry.
The train is named after two species of kingfisher which inhabit the mountains and valleys of Kyushu, so the train’s badges will prominently feature images of these birds. [Read more…]
Tokyu Corporation have released new details and images of their ongoing redevelopment program in the Shibuya Station area. A new tower block in the Shibuya Station South area is to be named “Shibuya Stream” and its grand opening has been set for autumn of 2018. The company hopes that the new building will act as a new cultural hub in an area that links flashy Shibuya with the more elegant Daikanyama district.
The 180 meter tall Shibuya Stream will be largely occupied by offices on its upper levels from the 14th to the 35th floor. However, on the lower levels there will be a commercial area with around 30 shops and restaurants and a Tokyu Hotel. [Read more…]
JR West have announced a new station numbering system on 12 lines and 300 stations in the Kansai area of western Japan. The new system is scheduled to begin in March of 2018.
In 2014 JR West introduced alphabetical letter codes and distinguishing colors to their route line maps. The plan to number stations is part of the company’s long term commitment to making JR West railways more user friendly for foreign travelers. Numbers will be added to stations on the 12 lines in the Kansai region that are traveled most by foreign passengers. [Read more…]