NEW YORK--In a nod to the historical and cultural significance of the world's great railway terminuses, Tokyo Station and Grand Central Terminal have become "sister" stations.
A ceremony took place at Grand Central in Manhattan on March 19.
East Japan Railway Co. said it was the first such tie-up between a Japanese and an American railway station.
This year marks the centenary of the Grand Central Terminal building, one of New York's main commuter terminals and a structure that is recognizable the world over.
Tokyo Station is a year younger. In 2014, it will celebrate 100 years of traffic, which these days includes the daily departure and arrival of around 4,100 local and regional commuter trains and high-speed Shinkansen, known worldwide as bullet trains.
The signing ceremony was organized partly by the Japan Tourism Agency. It marked the start of Japan Week, a festival celebrating Japanese culture.
The theme of this year's event is Japan's "on-the-go" lifestyle. For the duration of the event, rail passengers at Grand Central can pick up a Japanese-style "ekiben" lunch box to eat on their journeys. The station also has a temporary "Tachinomiya" Japanese-style standing bar.
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