JR

Japan’s newest hot spring springs forth…from the center of Kobe!

In movies, there’s never anything good hidden in the earth under a structure. It’s all Native American burial grounds, Egyptian mummies, and other assorted other corpses of non-specific ethnicities.

In real life, though, there are all sorts of desirable things waiting beneath the surface, such as oil and gold. An excavation crew in Kobe was looking for something just as good as those two valuable commodities, though: a hot spring, and they found one right in the heart of the city.

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Did a Japanese high school student stop 350,000 people from getting home by throwing a bag?

Imagine you’re taking the train home from work at 7 p.m., finally getting to leave after being there for almost twelve hours. You can’t wait to just eat some dinner, relax, and then get some much-needed sleep.

But then bam! The train stops and the electricity goes off. You’re stuck, and you’re not getting home for a long, long time.

That’s exactly what happened on August 4 to many passengers in the Tokyo/Yokohama area. An accident shut down entire lines, affecting over 350,000 people’s commute home.

What caused it, you ask? The answer may be a single high school student and his friend’s bag.

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Ads for JR’s “Seishun 18” rail pass celebrate the isolated beauty of Japan’s most far-flung stations

It seems so easy to plan an entire Japan vacation around a single tour of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The mega city has just about everything a tourist could possibly want to see, from Akihabara’s blinding neon to the breathtaking skyline of Yokohama, to the quiet, old-world charm (and weird poop sculpture) of Asakusa.

But to not venture away from Tokyo, to Japan’s more far-flung and lesser-known destinations is to rob yourself of the grander Japan experience, and Japan Rail (JR) has long sought to encourage visitors, both domestic and foreign, to wander off the beaten path with the Seishun 18 unlimited rail pass. And, if the idea of unlimited access to JR’s vast and far-reaching network of tracks isn’t enough to inspire your sense of adventure on your next Japan visit, perhaps these ads for the Seishun 18 rail pass, which depict the isolated beauty of some of Japan’s most remote train stations, will be.

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Japan’s Top 10 Scenic Train Trips–according to two “densha otaku” train guides

Greg Cope and Ken Mitchell have been riding Japan’s railways for over 30 years. “When I first started to travel around Japan,” recalls Greg, “I was struck by the fact that Japan not only has one of the most efficient railway systems in the world, but they have myriad types of railways, from new to old, conservative design to outlandish.

On one of Greg’s succeeding trips back to Japan, he asked his train aficionado friend Ken, who had seen a lot of Japan during a visit in 1967, to come along. “I devised an itinerary…incorporating a variety of different trains. The trip that I had nutted out from the timetable turned out well and I was hooked on Japan’s railway system,” says Ken.

Greg and Ken wanted to share their Japan rail experiences with others, so to achieve this goal they started Trainaway Tours out of Australia in 1998. These guys are living the train otaku dream, so when RocketNews24 started looking into Japan’s best, most scenic railways, we went straight to them for recommendations. From JR lines to small private rails, tourist trains to steam locomotives, let’s look at their picks for the top 10 train trips in Japan.

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Japanese netizens approve of Japan Railway’s cool yosakoi dance troupe 【Video】

If you’ve ever visited Japan, surely you’ve ridden on at least one of the many Japan Railway (JR) train lines, where you probably noticed the serious and stoic faces of the company’s conductors and staff. So it might be hard to imagine that JR Kyushu has it’s own very energetic, award-winning yosakoi dance oendan, or cheering squad, that frequently competes in some of the biggest yosakoi traditional dance festivals around the country.

This past weekend the JR Kyushu Oentai performed and won the top prize at the Sapporo YOSAKOI Soran Festival in Hokkaido (Japan’s northern-most island), and as soon as footage and pictures of their performance hit the internet, Japanese netizens were abuzz about just how cool the group looked.

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Kind train station staff help lost entrance exam takers get to, and hopefully into, high school

Many people who have spent time in Japan have stories of someone doing something really nice for them out of simple kindness. Such encounters range from getting a bag of onions from a shop owner to receiving an umbrella from a stranger, while standing in pouring rain (both true stories). Even on the job, workers’ kindness and sense of duty to show such consideration comes through in the form of outstanding customer service.

Such was the case in Chiba Prefecture last week when two junior high school students got on the wrong train and were about to be late to one of the most important tests of their lives: the public high school entrance exam. Thanks to some kind Japan Rail staff, they made it— although, we’re not sure if they passed.

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Aw snap yo! JR Kyushu’s really cheap “Gachi Ticket” is in the hizzouse!

Wassup young people, I’m speaking your language today to tell you about to totally tubular deal from JR Kyushu! They’re offering some super-rad discounts of up to 40% off on train fares around the island of Kyushu for a seriously limited time.

It’s called the Gachi Ticket, where “gachi” is a new word the kids in Japan are using that’s hard to translate to English but somewhere along the lines of “for realz!” and “aww psssht it’s on!”

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Valentine’s Day chocolate found to be the cause of a train delay in Tokyo

Valentine’s Day in Japan is an all-chocolate affair, as millions of women around the nation stock up on the sweet treats for their friends, partners and colleagues. Lately, women have even been extending the offering to the inanimate world, with handsome anime characters receiving large amounts of gifts from their fans.

Now it seems someone in Japan may have developed a soft spot for a train on the Tokyo Chuo Line as chocolate was found to be the cause for a door jam that delayed commuters during morning rush hour on the most romantic day of the year.

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Family of 91-year-old dementia sufferer struck by train ordered to pay JR compensation

Nagoya District Court ruled on August 9 that the family of a man with dementia who entered a railway line and consequently died after being hit by a train must pay compensation to the Japan Railway (JR) Group. The court concluded that the measures the family put in place to prevent the 91-year-old from wandering off by himself were insufficient.

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Japan Rail searching for couple to get married on Yamanote Line train

Many couples strive to plan a perfectly unique wedding. From nonconventional backyard ceremonies to destination weddings in far off places, there is no limit to the delightfully strange and creative ways people tie the knot. However, JR East is giving one lucky couple the chance at a wedding most people have probably never dreamed of.

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Ninja travel tips: See Japan by rail without breaking the bank

Ever wanted to cross Japan by rail but hate the idea of being stuck on the train, watching the scenery flash by without ever being able to get out and experience it? Today we’re going to let you in on a little secret few foreigners are aware of so you can explore further, without having to pay extra for the privilege.

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Take a Ride on the Zoo Train Where the Seats Stare Back

We can’t decide whether this is the cutest or creepiest thing we’ve ever seen. This train, which transports passengers to the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan includes a carriage with a children’s play area and stuffed animal seats. Zoo-goers can snuggle up with pairs of owls, reindeer, wolves, giraffes, polar bears, and many more.

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New Shinkansen to Use Revolutionarily Simple Stations, Cuts Include Ticket Booths, Waiting Rooms, Humans

On 13 May, JR Central released station design plans for their upcoming Chuo Shinkansen running from Tokyo to Nagoya and later Osaka. In the words of JR, these stations were designed “not to rely on traditional styles” and “to boldly pursue functionality and efficiency.”

However, when the details emerged to a train station loving public, the reaction was less than enthusiastic with comments along the line of “too bold.”

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All Aboard! Take a Ride on the Japan Rail Harry Potter Train!

A new Harry Potter train was introduced on the JR Sakurajima line providing access to Universal Studios Japan from Nishikujo Station in Osaka.

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