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JR News: Welcome back! Joyful Trains to resume operations in July

JR News: Welcome back! Joyful Trains to resume operations in July

East Japan Railway Company has announced that its Joyful Trains, which suspended operations in May and June due to COVID-19, will resume operations in July. Most Joyful Trains are scheduled to resume on 23 July 2020, which is a public holiday and part of a 4-day long weekend.


Joyful Trains are themed trains featuring special decorations, events or scenery to make the train journey more interactive and enjoyable.


The Resort Shirakami Buna’s Orahosales counter. (Image credit: JR East / Carissa Loh)


The earliest to get back on the tracks is the Resort Shirakami, which will operate only on Fridays–Sundays from 3–19 July 2020, and eventually every day from 23 July 2020 onward. However, due to safety precautions and to minimize contact, the 「Oraho」 sales counter on the Resort Shirakami Buna will remain closed, and on-board events will remain suspended.


Planetarium on board the HIGH RAIL 1375. (Image credit: JR East / Carissa Loh)


Likewise, as a safety precaution and in order to minimize the gathering of many people in small spaces, on-board events for some other Joyful Trains will also remain suspended until further notice. These include the planetarium shows on the HIGH RAIL 1375 and SL Ginga, and events on the Resort View Furusato and Oykot.


The Toreiyu Tsubasa’s footbaths. (Image credit: JR East / Carissa Loh)


Trains that do resume on-board activities and events will do so at reduced capacities or with limited entry. The Toreiyu Tsubasa’s footbaths will continue to operate, although capacity will be reduced to a maximum of four people per session (down from eight per session). Events on the Koshino Shu*Kura will also continue with a limited number of participants allowed entry into the event space.


The playroom on the SL Banetsu Monogatari. (Image credit: JR East)


Both the POKÉMON with YOU Train and the SL Banetsu Monogatari will limit and stagger entries into their playrooms.


For restaurant trains like the FruiTea Fukushima and TOHOKU EMOTION, items from the self-service or buffet area will now be brought to customers on an order basis instead.


The GENBI SHINKANSEN. (Image credit: JR East)


Meanwhile, Niigata Prefecture’s four Joyful Trains (GENBI SHINKANSEN, KAIRI, SL Banetsu Monogatari and Koshino Shu*Kura) will resume operations slightly later, on 1 August 2020 (Saturday).


Header image credit: JR East


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