Quick Takes – August 24th, 2018

Welcome to a new edition of Quick Takes! This week, we have train yard open day, trains with onsen build-in, and train station with gyoza (think potsticker)?

  • JR East will have an Open Day for their Tokyo repair yard, near Oimachi Station (Google Maps), on August 25th. Admission is free and there will be exhibition of restored rail cars, as well as test driving of trains. For kids, not only they can have their hands of a real train driving cabin, but they can also get to see dioramas with plenty of train models. Open hours will be 10 am to 3 pm(last entrance will be at 2:30 pm). (News article translation)
  • Kintetsu will run sightseeing trains with foot onsen for a limited time, on their Yunoyama Line, from Nagoya to Yunoyama Onsen near Yokkaichi. The service will run from October 6th this year to February 24th, 2019, on weekends and holidays, with one train running in the morning and afternoon each, to and from Nagoya. The fare is 500 yen for adults and 250 yen for kids, and applies for all passengers, even if you use the Kintetsu Rail Pass (which does not covers limited express, or sightseeing cars like this one). It covers the use of the foot onsen, a souvenir towel, as well as discounts and coupons for shops and hot springs at the onsen area. (News article translated , press release)
  • JR Bus Kanto to introduce new double decker to highway bus service – double decker buses are not that uncommon in Europe (especially in the UK), but in Asia it is much less used (except in Hong Kong). JR Bus Kanto had been adding double decker to their Shinjuku to Tokyo Disney Resort shuttle since July, and by September 1st they will introduce the bus to their mainstay highway line, from Tokyo to Nagoya (official site annoucement in Japanese). Service will be limited to only one ride every day, in the morning departing from Tokyo, and one from Nagoya back in the afternoon. These two buses are apparent added to the most heavily used time slot to take more passengers. But then, you might ask, why would people ride highway buses when the rail system in Japan is so advanced? For that, you will find out shortly, in a new feature I will introduce soon.(News article translated
  • JR East Ryogoku station to host Gyoza party on platform – For some reason, Japanese train operators like to host parties in their station platforms. This time, it is JR East teaming up with Ajinomoto to host a gyoza party at Ryogoku station. The platform that will be used is usually for special rental trains, or the bicycle friendly B.B.Base line going to Boso Pennisula every Autumn. The gyoza party will run from August 24th to September 5th from 5-11 pm on weekdays, and 10:45 am to 11 pm on weekends. For those of you who are interested, please note that the event is inside the station’s paid area, so you might want to go there by JR instead of Tokyo Metro (which had a station adjacent to the JR station).(News article translated

That’s it for this week. Would you travel around Japan by highway bus? Or do you think gyoza party in a train station something out of the ordinary? Let’s discuss in the comments!