When travelling in Japan, taking a train to your destination is almost always the best option. The country’s rail system is convenient, clean, and comfortable, so especially if you’re starting from the Tokyo area, there’s not much point in driving or flying.
Japan’s rail network isn’t such a no-brainer, though, if you’re a pet owner. Even when pets are allowed on trains in Japan, they have to be caged, which might not be a viable option if your furry friend is the kind to become stressed or panicked if it’s confined to such a small space for an extended period of time.
This winter, though, East Japan Railway Company, also known as JR East, will be allowing dogs to ride freely, not in cages, on one special train.
It’s called the Wanderful Train, and no, that’s not a typo. Wan is the onomatopoeia for a dark’s bark in Japanese, and JR East wasn’t about to pass up such a perfect pun opportunity.
The Wanderful Train will depart from Ueno Station in downtown Tokyo and carry its human and canine passengers to Izu Kogen Station in Shizuoka Prefecture. Izu Kogen is on the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula, a popular weekend getaway spot famous for its beautiful ocean coastlines and rustic mountain scenery.
The train is part of a tour package, and will be for the exclusive use of travelers headed to Izu with their dog to spend the night at either the Wan’s Resort Jogakasi Kaigan or Izu Kogen Wanwan Paradise Hotel and Cottage properties, both dog-friendly facilities which, coincidentally, each renovated their outdoor dog runs this past summer.
A veterinarian will be onboard the train, should any of the four-legged travelers require medical assistance, and the train’s seats will be outfitted with protective sheets just in case any of the dogs make a mess along the way. Also, little JR caps will be available as loaners for those wishing to snap a few doggie cosplay photos.
▼ You can expect few, if any, owners to pass up this chance.
The Wanderful Train will depart from Ueno Station on December 9 and return the following day. The package is priced at 69,000 yen for two adults and one dog staying at Wanwan Paradise and 74,000 yen for Wan’s Resort, which includes round-trip train fare and hotel costs as well as other services such as a shuttle bus to Izu attractions. In addition, JR East says the Wanderful Train is limited to “small dogs.”
JR East is looking for 30 groups to ride the Wanderful Train, with the website for reservation applications here. Though it’s currently planned for only one run to Izu and back, depending on the response the package gets we might see more in the future.
Source: PR Times, Norimono News via Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko
Images: PR Times
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