This article was published on
6th May, 2021
How would you answer if you are asked this question: what are trains for?
Many of you may say that trains are for transportation.
You will be surprised to see the trains in Japan, so-called ‘Joyful Trains’.🚋
On Joyful Trains you can enjoy view🌸, meals🍴, art🎨, foot bath♨ etc.👏
They are for having a good time even when we travel from one place to another.
Let me introduce the great onboard experience of TOHOKU EMOTION, one of the Joyful Trains.
TOHOKU EMOTION is a restaurant train🍴 running from Hachinohe Station in Aomori Prefecture to Kuji Station in Iwate Prefecture.
You can enjoy having a lunch course🍴 and afternoon tea🍰☕ during the ride with the beautiful sea view.
On the train you can have a taste of the delicious cuisine with seasonal foods created by famous chefs and sommeliers.
From Hachinohe to Kuji, lunch🍴 and from Kuji to Hachinohe, sweets🍰☕ will be served.
Even though one-way travel is satisfying enough, it is highly recommended to take a round trip ride to enjoy TOHOKU EMOTION itself to the fullest.
The train has 3 carriages:
car.1 is for individual compartment rooms,
car.2 is for an open kitchen,
and car.3 is for open dining tables.
As the train has 2 types of the seats: individual compartments and open dining seats, you can choose either car.1 or car.3 depending on the purpose of your travel (traveling with your friends or dating etc.).
The interior decoration of each car gets inspiration from the details of traditional handicrafts of Tohoku region.
In car.2, where there is a live kitchen space, you can see the chefs making the plates with careful attention. The kitchen will attract lively your sight and sense of taste.
This time we took a ride from Kuji to Hachinohe (sweets & afternoon tea course🍰☕).
To get to Kuji from Tokyo, we took Shinkansen🚅 from Tokyo Station to Hachinohe Station (about 3 hours) and changed to a local line🚋 to Kuji Station (about 2 hours).
A night before we left for Kuji to take TOHOKU EMOTION, we stayed in Hachinohe to enjoy the Miroku-Yokocho (Food Stall Village), where there are many Japanese small stalls.
It is 10-minute walk from JR Hon-Hachinohe station, and accessible to the hotels in the city as well.
There are 26 small stalls in total, and you can feel the atmosphere of Japanese small stalls while you enjoy drinking alcohol🍶🍺 and having the plates🍴.
You can find the variety of sake in Miroku-Yokocho as well.
*Most sake contain around 15% alcohol🍶.
Be careful of a hangover! It is highly recommended to drink the same amount of water when you drink sake.
Even if you don’t fancy alcohol, you can enjoy the typical plates made with fresh local products.
If you have some time I suggest you to get off the train at Hachinohe to visit the Miroku-Yokocho.
On the next day, we took a 2-hour local train🚋 ride from Hachinohe to Kuji.
The view from the train was really beautiful as the coast stretches to the edge of the windows.
We felt the ride quicker than we had thought as we enjoyed taking photos on the train.
Here there is TOHOKU EMOTION!
We were so excited to see the cute and fancy exterior.
People of the town welcomed us with a banner on the platform.
On departure, even on the way, along the line there were many people waving their hands to us.
We waved our hands back to them. It was an extremely heartwarming experience.
Although the interior of TOHOKU EMOTION is so comfortable like a luxury restaurant that we almost forgot that we were on a train, the view from the windows, the best part of any trains, is spectacular as well.
We chose car.1: an individual compartment seat.
In TOHOKU EMOTION, there is a car for an open dinning space (car.3) besides car.1 which is for individual compartments.
If you are going to take a round trip, taking a different type of the seats on way back will be a good idea; for a lunch course (going), choose car.1: an individual compartment and for teatime (return), car.3: open dinning space.
The table was set with menu, and there were different varieties of beverages written inside.
You can choose what to drink from the menu. The journey started with an assorted dessert plate.
After finishing the first plate, we walked to the live kitchen space in car.2 to enjoy the buffet style.
(Currently, the operation is limited due to COVID-19 pandemic. The sweets will be served on your tables.)
As we enjoyed the various kinds of sweets, 2 hours of journey finished so fast.
The ride was so comfortable that it was really sad for us to leave the train.
All the staffs on the train served us with nice smiles, and they kindly gave an explanation of the area along the railroad and the food to us.
I would like you all to experience this luxurious journey of TOHOKU EMOTION at least once in a lifetime.
To take a ride of TOHOKU EMOTION, you need to go to Hachinohe Station in Aomori Prefecture, where Tohoku Shinkansen stops. It takes minimum 2 hours 44 minutes from Tokyo Station to Hachinohe Station with Shinkansen.🚅
Or if you are going to take TOHOKU EMOTION from Kuji to enjoy desserts, you need to take a local line from Hachinohe to Kuji. (about 2 hours)🚋
For taking Shinkasnen from Tokyo to Hachinohe and the local train from Hachinohe to Kuji, you can travel with JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area), JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass, JR Tohoku-South Hokkaido Rail Pass and ‘JAPAN RAIL PASS’.
Making seat reservation with these passes is unlimited!
Take many Shinkansen rides and enjoy traveling the Tohoku region!
You can purchase TOHOKU EMOTION tickets from HERE or from JR East Travel Service Center ‘View Plaza’.
(*The passes are not good for TOHOKU EMOTION.)
The number of the seats are limited.
It is recommended to purchase tickets and reserve seats earlier.
For schedule and details, please see this website.
Explore the Tohoku region with JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)🎫 to save on the travel budget!
The pass covers 5 days of unlimited rides on JR trains🚃 and Shinkansen🚄 in the area.
Click the link below to get more information:
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