JR News: Retirement of 3 Joyful Trains and extension of Joyful Train suspension
Much-loved by railway enthusiasts, Joyful Trains are themed trains offering fun experiences to make your railway journey more enjoyable. These can come in the form of interior decorations, on-board activities, station experiences, beautiful scenery, delicious local food, and more.
While we warmly welcomed new Joyful Train additions like the HIGH RAIL 1375 in July 2017, and the KAIRI in October 2019, we must also bravely bid farewell to beloved Joyful Trains when their runs come to an end.
The Resort Minori plies the Riku East Line (陸羽東線) between Sendai Station (仙台駅) and Shinjo Station (新庄駅), and is best known for the stunning views you can enjoy from the train's wide windows in autumn. Passing by one of Tohoku's best autumn foliage viewing spots, Naruko Gorge, this beloved train will be retiring after 12 long years.
The Resort Minori coming out of a tunnel at Naruko Gorge. (Image credit: JR East)
An event celebrating the Resort Minori's final run, 「Thank You Resort Minori」 (「ありがとうリゾートみのり」), was originally scheduled to be held on 28 June 2020, but has since been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Whether or not another final run event will be held on a later date is under consideration.
The IZU CRAILE was an elegant resort train offering magnificent views of the ocean, running along the coast of the Izu Peninsula between Odawara Station (小田原駅) and Izukyu-Shimoda Station (伊豆急下田駅). As a restaurant train, special lunch and afternoon tea packages were sold, which became a hit among ladies for girls' trips to Izu. The French-inspired food creations expressed the four seasons with fresh Izu ingredients.
The IZU CRAILE train. (Image credit: JR East)
An event celebrating the IZU CRAILE's final run 「IZU CRAILE LAST RUN」, was originally scheduled to be held on 28 June 2020, but has since been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The train's final trip was made on 29 March 2020.
The SAPHIR ODORIKO train. (Image credit: JR East)
Travellers looking to experience a resort train trip along the Izu Peninsula can try the SAPHIR ODORIKO instead. The SAPHIR ODORIKO is a new luxury train featuring JR East’s new Premium Green Class.
*The Saphir Odoriko is not a Joyful Train.
The Resort Umineko ran along the Sanriku Coast on the Hachinohe Line (八戸線), between Hachinohe Station (八戸駅) and Kuji Station (久慈駅). It featured large windows and seats which could be turned to face the ocean. The exterior was designed with an image of the ocean – deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, orange for the sun rising from the horizon, and bright blue for the sky.
The Resort Umineko train. (Image credit: JR East)
An event celebrating the Resort Umineko's final run, 「Thank You Resort Umineko」 (「ありがとうリゾートうみねこ」), was originally scheduled to be held on 14 June 2020, but has since been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The train's last trip was made on 29 March 2020.
Extended suspension of Joyful Trains
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the suspension of Joyful Trains has been extended until 30 June 2020. In addition, the sale of reserved seats for 01 July 2020 – 30 September 2020 has been suspended.
The Joyful Trains affected by the extended suspension are:
- Toreiyu Tsubasa
- POKÉMON with YOU Train
- FruiTea Fukushima
- TOHOKU EMOTION
- Resort Minori
- SL Ginga
- Resort Shirakami *Including Gono Line Cruising Train
- Resort Asunaro (Resort Asunaro Shimokita, Sanriku Train Miyako)
- HIGH RAIL 1375 *Including HIGH RAIL Hoshizora
- Resort View Furusato *Including Night View Obasute
- SL Gunma Minakami, SL Gunma Yokokawa *Including SL YOGISHA Yokokawa and EL operations
Header image credit: JR East