'Footbath Shinkansen' set for debut in July

June 30, 2014

By YASUO TOMATSU/ Staff Writer

YAMAGATA--Passengers on the newest Shinkansen to join East Japan Railway Co.'s (JR East) fleet of trains will be able to relieve aching feet with a footbath, and then congregate in a lounge for drinks.

Dubbed “Toreiyu Tsubasa,” the six-car train will make one round trip a day, mainly at weekends, between Fukushima and Shinjo stations--a roughly two-hour journey--on the Yamagata Shinkansen Line starting July 19 for a limited run.

Media representatives were given a preview of the sleek facilities on June 30.

Each of the two footbaths, both in the same car, are 2.4 meters long and 50 centimeters wide. Four people can sit side by side dipping their toes while watching the scenery whizz by.

The car is connected to an "after bath lounge car" with a bar counter, and then three cars with "ozashiki reserved seats," in this case tatami mats. A standard reserved seat car makes up the rear.

The company spent 500 million yen ($4.9 million) to modify the E3-series "Komachi" Shinkansen cars that were used on the Akita Shinkansen Line for the excursion train.

"We had to be creative, like placing cushions inside the tubs so that the hot water won't spill out even when the train sways hard," said Hideyuki Terui, deputy manager of the company's Transport and Rolling Stock Department.

The service will run until September.

By YASUO TOMATSU/ Staff Writer
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The interior of the footbath car on East Japan Railway Co.'s new "Toreiyu Tsubasa" train at the Yamagata rolling stock center on June 30 (Yasuo Tomatsu)

The interior of the footbath car on East Japan Railway Co.'s new "Toreiyu Tsubasa" train at the Yamagata rolling stock center on June 30 (Yasuo Tomatsu)

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  • The interior of the footbath car on East Japan Railway Co.'s new "Toreiyu Tsubasa" train at the Yamagata rolling stock center on June 30 (Yasuo Tomatsu)
  • The footbath for four people in a specialized car on East Japan Railway Co.'s (JR East) new "Toreiyu Tsubasa" train at the Yamagata rolling stock center on June 30 (Yasuo Tomatsu)

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