Never get lost in Japan

The best “Restaurant” Trains in Japan

At My Japan Guide, we love train and Japan is a “train Empire”. Following our article about the beautiful Setsugekka train in Niigata, here is some of the new restaurant concept-trains in which you will watch  breathtaking scenery while enjoying fabulous food.

Tohoku Emotion (JR East) Tohoku Emotion, JR East
It runs on the JR Hachinohe Line, between Hachinohe Station in Aomori Prefecture and Kuji Station in Iwate Prefecture alongside the Sanriku Coast, in which you will discover and experience “New Tohoku” through design, foods, arts and scenery.
Prices are different for each travel plan, to choose between the “Lunch course” ¥7.200 and “Dessert buffet” ¥4.100.
The schedule for this train changes monthly, so please check in advance.

Information: Tohoku Emotion (Japanese)

Fifty-Two Seats of Happiness, Seibu RailwayFifty-Two Seats of Happiness, Seibu Railway
This sightseeing train started on April 17th this year and runs between stations in Tokyo and Saitama prefecture. As mentioned in the name,it can accommodate up to 52 passengers toward Chichibu, from Tokyo’s Seibu Ikebukuro and Shinjuku station.The coaches are decorated with seasonal scenes on their outside and you will enjoy the mountainous Chichibu region served with serve Japanese, Chinese and Western style cuisine.
This train runs on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays only and price varies between ¥10.000 and ¥15.000

Information: Fifty-Two Seats of Happiness (Japanese)

GENBI Shinkansen, JR East GENBI Shinkansen, JR East
GENBI (meaning Contemporary Beauty) Shinkansen made its debut on April 29 as “the world’s fastest art experience” on the Joetsu Shinkansen between Echigo Yuzawa and Niigata Stations in Niigata Prefecture. Seven of cars are decorated both inside and outside with artwork and used as art exhibition spaces, with painters, sculptors, and visual creators: Nao Matsumoto, Yusuke Komuta, Kentaro Kobuke, paramodel, Naoki Ishikawa, Haruka Kojin and Brian Alfred. One of the car has been converted into a café featuring local Niigata specialties, like the Uonuma City’s vanilla cake or the Sado Island’s cream cheese lemon cake.
The service is every Saturday and Sunday through June 26, with a new schedule from July onward to be determined. Price is about ¥10.000.

Information: Genbi Shinkansen (English)

There are plenty more, contact us to make a reservation.

Resort train “Echigo Toki Meki Resort Setsugekka” debut in Niigata

On April 23, 2016 the newly designed, silver vermilion Setsugekka (雪月花, lit. “Snow, Moon, Flowers”) train started its operation on weekend and holidays in Niigata Precture, on a day tour back and forth between the Jōetsumyōkō Station and Itoigawa Station.Echigo Toki Meki Resort Setsugekka
The journey is approximately 3 hours, sitting in spacious chair, with superb view of the Sea of Japan from the nation’s largest train panoramic window and watching the majestic mountains of Myoko referred to as Echigo Fuji.
Meals on the train are prepared by Michelin two-star rated French cuisine chef Ryuta Iizuka. Chef-owner of Restaurant Ryuzu, using local ingredients.
Jōetsumyōkō Station departure including the meal “snow course” is 14,800 yen and the “Hana course” is 6,000 yen.

Contact us if you are interested about the journey.

The JR Pass soon available for purchase in Japan

Japan Railways plans for visitors who forgot to buy the JR Pass before leaving their country, to be able to do it directly in Japan, said Friday a spokesman for JR East.

The passes offer tourists unlimited rides on the JR trains and represent great savings for users and passengers on long distance trips.

Currently, the passes can only be purchased abroad and allow unlimited use of JR lines throughout the country for a period of 7, 14 or 21 days. Are excluded the Nozomi and Mizuho trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen Lines.

This is of course good news and JR will start selling the passes as an experiment this year, on a date which has not yet been determined.

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Why do Japan drive on the Left?

Japan has long been a closed country with no trading with the outside. However with the Meiji era (1868-1912) and the beginning of Japan’s modernization policy led by the Emperor Meiji, the country opened up to outside influences and experienced rapid modernization. It was at this time that Japan called UK to assist in its industrial development. England then provides technical and industrial expertise to the Japanese, including in the automotive domain. And as everybody knows of English drive on the left! So the Japanese followed.
According to many people in Japan, the origin of driving on the left would simply find its origin and history … with the samurai. The samurai wore their swords on the left side, so they could easily unsheathe it with the right hand. If two warriors crossed on a road or in an alley, and they had walked on the right, their swords would have rattled, which could be seen as an assault or a provocation.

A Story Begins – Hokkaido Shinkansen

Mark Your Calendars: the latest born of Japanese high speed trains, the Hokkaido Shinkansen, will welcome its first passengers March 26, 2016!

Hokkaido Shinkansen will link the cities of Aomori in northern Honshu, and Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. There was already a rail link between the two islands, but this is the first time the Shinkansen is extended to Hokkaido. It is expected that the high-speed line will be extended to Sapporo in 2030.

You can now travel from Tokyo to Hakodate in about 4 hours. As the Tohoku Shinkansen before him, the Hokkaido Shinkansen include several seats “Green Class” particularly luxurious and which remind of Airline First class.

Although the plane remains the fastest way to get to Hokkaido from the capital, the Shinkansen experience is always very nice that it certainly does not bother you to spend a bit more time on the train!

More info: Jrhokkaido