The region of Hakone,
located near Tokyo
and Mount Fuji,
is well known for its extraordinary countryside and outstanding natural beauty - resources that the local railway provider is hoping to make the most of when it comes to boosting visitor numbers. Hakone
Tozan Railway is anticipating a rush of tourists following the introduction of its first train in over 25 years, which has been designed to offer passengers a much better view than any of its predecessors.
The 3000 series Allegra is scheduled to start running on November 1st, calling at Odawara
Station in Odawara,
Kanagawa prefecture before crossing over into the dramatic mountainous landscapes of Hakone.
At a press conference held last week, representatives of the media heard how the new train is more spacious than its predecessors, as well as more energy efficient, guaranteeing that the stunning surrounding landscapes will be enjoyed by future generations. A trial run took reporters along the scenic segments between the Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations.
"I hope the new train can help attract tourists to the entire Hakone
area," said Hideaki Oshima, a 42-year-old senior official at the company.
He added that the name Allegra had been derived from a greeting in the Rhaeto-Romance language spoken in the main area of Switzerland, where Rhaetian Railway runs. The Swiss company has had an agreement with Hakone
Tozan Railway since 1979.
Quite apart from its jaw-dropping natural beauty, which is enough of an attraction in itself, Hakone
offers a wide variety of exciting activities that include the Pola Museum of Art and the Hakone
Open Air Museum. It's also the best place to snap a photo of Mount Fuji,
particularly in the winter when the air is clearer.
Related news stories:See in the spring at Setsubun (8th January 2009)