On your commute home after a very tiring day at work, haven’t you ever wished you could be soaking your feet in warm water during your entire ride? Well if you’re heading to Yamagata Prefecture on a weekend sometime this year, you might just get your wish as JR East introduces bullet trains that will make you want to always take that particular ride.
Starting this July, a shinkansen on the Yamagata Shinkansen Line will be offering footbaths for passengers traveling the 148-kilometer (92-mile) route between Fukushima and Shinjo City. The Toreiyu (a combination of the English “train”, French “soleil”, and Japanese “yu”) will have six cars, and one of them will be equipped with a carriage that will have two 8-foot long footbath tubs that will face the windows. Each tub can be used by four people at the same time, and while their feet are relaxing, they will also have a scenic view of the countryside. The train cars will have a bar counter, cherrywood low tables and tatami-mat flooring, to give an even cozier atmosphere. The train will run for 120 days every year, mostly during the weekends and holidays, and will require passengers to reserve seats beforehand.
JR East spokesman Ryosuke Akaya said that they are doing this in order to get people to purposefully use the train as their means of travel. It is also part of a tourism campaign for the prefecture, famous for its rice, beef, cherries and pears. The crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has cast a shadow on its nearby prefecture, despite the fact that it is almost a two-hour ride away from Yamagata.