JR East Previews Special Genbi Shinkansen

JR East has revealed Japan’s latest special themed shinkansen ahead of its service entry later in Spring 2016. Sporting a sleek black paintwork decorated with sparkling images of fireworks, the Genbi Shinkansen was presented at JR Omiya Station in Saitama prefecture on Tuesday.


Based on the E3 series trainset, the 6-car bullet train is scheduled to operate on a section of the Joetsu Shinkansen line between Niigata and Echigo-Yuzawa stations and is intended to serve as a high-speed art gallery and showcase for tourism in the Niigata area. The exterior has been customized with images by photographer Mika Ninagawa from the annual Nagaoka Fireworks Festival held in the coastal city, while its interior will feature works from contemporary artists including Nao Matsumoto, Yusuke Komuta, Kentaro Kobuke, paramodel, Naoki Ishikawa, Haruka Kojin and Brian Alfred.


Unique to Japan’s fleet of high-speed trains, the Genbi Shinkansen will only have 103 seats onboard and windows on one side to provide both a bigger canvas as well as a spot of fashionable asymmetry. Another highlight will be the presence of an onboard cafe serving local specialties, such as coffee from the popular Tsubame Coffee, sweets made with the prized Koshihikari rice and butter from farms on Sado Island.


First introduced in 1964, Japan’s shinkansen high-speed rail has revolutionized travel within the country with multiple lines connecting major cities using safe, fast and clean trains. In recent times, the country has introduced several themed shinkansens on limited runs to promote its tourism and popular culture, including the tatami-floored Toreiyu Tsubasa Shinkansen on the Yamagata Shinkansen line and the Sanyo Shinkansen’s 500 Type EVA to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” anime series.


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

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