Japan’s coolest trains are, of course, the ultra-high-speed shinkansen. But even among the bullet trains, some are more special than others, and few feel as special as the Genbi.
The Genbi went into service a few years ago, and its stylish black paint job isn’t its only exterior calling card. The outside of the train is also decorated with beautiful fireworks photos, taken at the annual Nagaoka Fireworks Festival in Niigata Prefecture. Genbi’s beauty is more than skin-deep, however, and the artistic appeal continues on the inside.
The 13-car train devotes multiple carriages to art gallery use, displaying works representing a variety of styles. Some are abstract exercises in shape and color, while others are beautiful photography series.
The dining car cafe serves both Japanese and Western-style desserts from Niigata-based confectioners, and even the kids’ play area, with model train setups, has an undeniably stylish vibe.
But even with so much to like about the Genbi shinkansen, there’s been one major drawback. Ordinarily it only runs between Niigata and Echigo Yuzawa Stations, both of which are in Niigata Prefecture. Not only is that a brief trip of just about 40 minutes, it also meant that if you were planning to hop on a Shinkansen at Tokyo, you were out of luck if you wanted to ride the Genbi.
In a happy development, though, Tokyo-routed travelers will have a chance to ride the Genbi this fall, when the artistic Shinkansen will be running to and from the capital for two days. Not only does this make for a convenient connection with Japan’s largest city and most popular international travel hub, it also means more time to enjoy the ride, since the Genbi’s journey from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station, with stops at Ueno, Omiya, Nagaoka, and a few other stations along the way will take roughly two hours to complete.
The Genbi shinkansen will be running its Tokyo route on Oct 5 and 6, leaving Niigata at 6:17 a.m. and arriving in Tokyo at 8:20, where it will make a U turn and head back out at 8:32 for a 10:30 arrival in Niigata.
Related: Genbi Shinkansen official website
Source: IT Media
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