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Monday, 15th August 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Restaurant train launched between Tokyo and Chichibu city

The Seibu Railway company has launched a restaurant train that travels between Tokyo and Chichibu city to take visitors into a less frequented part of Japan.

With 52 seats on board the Happiness Train, passengers can get to the mountainous scenery of Saitama Prefecture in relative comfort.

As well as enjoying the countryside, those who take the train can also dine on a selection of dishes, with brunch coming in at 10,000 yen (£76.70) per person and dinner costing 15,000 yen (114.85).

It takes four hours to complete the journey aboard the Happiness Train, which consists of four cars, complete with a galley and dining tables to eat in style.

The commuter train, which plies the same route, gets passengers to Chichibu city in 80 minutes, but the tourist equivalent is all about enjoying a slower pace of life.

Norio Kawasaki, a Seibu Railway official told the Japan Times: “Amid today’s sightseeing boom, people are starting to look for a new, unprecedented experience in their journey.”

The exterior of the train was designed to reflect Chichibu’s changing landscape throughout the seasons, while its interior features traditional crafts from the areas it runs through.

Upon arriving in Chichibu, visitors will find a variety of natural attractions depending on the time of year.

In spring, Hitsujiyama Park is covered in an incredible pink moss and the Arakawa River represents the perfect opportunity to go white water rafting.

Mr Kawasaki added: “We want people to recognize Chichibu as one of the major sightseeing destinations in the Kanto region after Hakone [in Kanagawa Prefecture] and Nikko [in Tochigi Prefecture].”

As Japan attracts more and more visitors, destinations that were previously relatively unknown are starting to feature on holiday itineraries.

With accommodation in the likes of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto booked up well in advance, heading to Chichibu and locations close by offer a wonderful alternative.