JR East

Pokémon train brings smiles to Tohoku kids’ faces

Pokémon train brings smiles to Tohoku kids’ faces

The Pokémon with YOU Train is a collaboration between JR East and Pokémon that’s been bringing smiles to the faces of kids affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and this week it made a special appearance in Chiba!

We’re not kids any more, but having seen how awesome it is, we really wish we could take a ride on this thing!!

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JR East putting on love-handles for Valentine’s Day

JR East putting on love-handles for Valentine’s Day

Imagine getting on a train after slogging through the slush-filled streets of Tokyo under a grey cloud-filled sky. With the usual packed row of seats, you’re forced to stand while you manipulate your Twitter feed with only one hand.

Then you begin to notice and odd sensation in the hand you’re using to keep your footing as the train jerks and rattles along. The strap you had unwittingly chosen feels a little different to normal. Looking up, you discover that it is in fact in the shape of a heart, and next to it is another heart-shaped hand strap being held into by another. Then your two eyes meet and you’re both struck by what Michael Corleone referred to as a “lightning bolt.”

This is exactly the kind of scene Japan Rail East hoped will play out in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day when they installed a single pair of heart-shaped hand straps on trains running along the Keiyo Line.

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Commuters surprisingly receptive to JR’s innovative new system

Commuters surprisingly receptive to JR’s innovative new system

Trains in Japan can get pretty hot and sweaty even without the sweltering summer heat mixed in, and some commuters have voiced concerns about the conditions on trains that have to wait at the station for more than the usual barely-enough-time-to-get-on-and-off 30 seconds. However, one of Japan’s major rail companies has come up with an innovative solution to keep passengers a mite cooler.

To keep the cool in their carriages, JR East (East Japan Railway Company) has implemented a new system on their trains departing from stations such as Tokyo and Shinagawa along the Tōkaidō Line. From now on, the usually open doors will remain CLOSED before departure, requiring passengers to physically press a button to open the doors and board the train. Yep, that’s it folks – their grand idea was to shut the doors.

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Suica Penguin now a cake — See his face transform as you eat!

Suica Penguin now a cake — See his face transform as you eat!

You may recall we reported a while ago on JR East’s Suica penguin mascot character being turned into a totally yummy-licious looking cream-filled bread. Now, Suica Penguin, as the mascot is known, has become a beautiful cake that’s attracted a fair bit of attention on the Japanese Internet recently. Of course, we couldn’t ignore such buzz involving a confection that’s bound to look adorable as well as taste delectably sweet, so we sent one of our reporters off on a mission to try the penguin cake everyone seemed to be talking about and provide our readers with a first-hand account. So, was the cake as cute and tasty as we expected?

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New train carriages on Tokyo’s Saikyo Line allow more sardines to be squeezed into the can

New train carriages on Tokyo’s Saikyo Line allow more sardines to be squeezed into the can

Bringing commuters to Tokyo from neighboring Saitama Prefecture, the Saikyo Line, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), is one of the busiest in the metropolitan area. During morning rush hour its trains are packed to 200 percent capacity. On June 30, however, E233 Series trains were introduced to the line, and officials are hoping the new carriages, which are a whole 15cm wider, will reduce crowding by ten percent.

That’s right. Now instead of having to endure bone-crushing, suffocating, sucking-the-will-to-live commutes in trains packed to 200 percent capacity, riders will be able to breathe, and perhaps move just a little, while enjoying the relative luxury of a train crammed to just 190 percent capacity!

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New JR East luxury sleeper train to cost over $2,000 for two nights

New JR East luxury sleeper train to cost over $2,000 for two nights

Starting from spring 2016, Japan Rail (JR) East will unveil a luxury sleeper train, hoping to provide passengers with “a fine-quality experience to enjoy Japan.”

The train had better be pretty luxurious, though, if it’s going to cost over US$2,000 for a mere two nights…

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