The Tohoku Emotion Train, a Journey as Special as the Destination

24.11.2019

 

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The Tohoku Emotion train line running through the north east of Japan is so much more than a simple journey from one town to the next. Since the service began in late 2013, it has been providing travellers with an experience that is both emotive and culinary, based on the principle of discovering the Japanese coast.

The Tohoku Emotion, nicknamed by the East Japan Railway company the ‘nomadic restaurant’, runs between the cities of Hachinoe and Kuji, just 50 kilometres apart from one another. The round trip can easily be done in a day, with each leg taking just over two hours.

The train’s exterior also looks more like a restaurant than a train, with its white paint and lanterns. The quality of the culinary offerings doesn’t let the décor down either, with food at the centre of this experience. Only one of three of the coaches is designated for seating, with brocaded fabric walls in a shashiko ori style, traditional to the region. The other two coaches are reserved entirely for food.

In the second wagon, the central element is an open kitchen where chefs prepare everything before your eyes, reinterpreting Western dishes with local products. Every six months a new guest chef is invited to rework the menu. During their residency aboard Tohoku Emotion, chefs introduce two new dishes based on available ingredients.

The third coach serves as a dining hall, offering panoramic views across the surrounding countryside. The entire space has been conceived from floor to ceiling in homage to Japanese artisanal traditions, featuring kogin sashi appliqués on the carpet, characteristic of the region.

Those intrigued by alternative train travel but not convinced by this precise experience might be more interested in one of the other Joyful Trains offerings. The 20-strong fleet is reinventing train travel across Japan, with a Pokémon themed train, a sake-tasting train and a SL Ginga space-themed train with its own planetarium, among others.

No online reservations — https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/joyful/tohoku.html?src=gnavi

 

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