JR East Launches Remodeled Mini-Shinkansen

Travellers on Japan’s Yamagata Shinkansen line can now enjoy a truly authentic local travel experience. JR East has placed a luxury trainset, outfitted with Japanese decor and features, in service on the line today as part of an ongoing programme to refresh the fleet of mini-shinkansen trains.


Designated the Toreiyu Tsubasa, the 6-car trainset has been refurbished from an older Series E3 train that previously operated on the Akita Shinkansen line and will now carry up to 143 passengers on tourist-oriented services. Operating in an area famous for hot springs, the train will offer passengers the opportunity to soak their feet in 2 ashiyu foot baths located in one of the cars while speeding through the beautiful, mountainous region. While the water will not be natural hot-spring water, it will be purified and recycled using a jet stream.


Another car is designated a relaxation car for travellers after their ashiyu experience, where local food and drinks are available. Further enhancing the traditional interior decor, most of the passenger cars will have large birch tables and tatami seats arranged in a 2-1 configuration, as opposed to normal seating. These will instead be found in the lead car in a 2-2 layout.


JR East will operate the Toreiyu Tsubasa between Fukushima station and Shinjo station on weekends and holidays from today through to 28 September 2014. The sleek metallic blue and green train (whose livery is inspired by the greenery of Yamagata prefecture and the Mogami River) will take approximately 2 hours to travel the 150-kilometer journey. The outbound sector from Fukushima departs at 1002 hrs and arrives at Shinjo at 1216 hrs, turning around to operate the inbound sector from Shinjo at 1443 hrs to arrive in Fukushima at 1741 hrs. Ticket prices vary and begin from JPY 25,500 (USD 252).


For more information, visit www.jreast.co.jp/e/.

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