Shinkansen foot spa 新幹線
Future footbaths Shinkansen Toreiyu.
Credit: JR East
Route between Fukushima and Shinjo.
Credit: Google Map
With a service almost already perfect - spotless, punctual, dressing tables, and ekiben (food trays), the Shinkansen, or Japanese bullet train, does not stop at pampering its customers.
Latest feature to date for JR East (railroad of the northern mainland): a car designed with foot baths. It almost goes unsaid that Japanese people crave comfort. Summer or winter, they rush to the thousands of spas around geothermal Japan.
In the onsen (hot springs or spa), famous ones in cites like Beppu and Nagano, one can rest his tired legs in ashi no yu (foot baths) in the city center or somewhere lost in the mountains.
Soon, travelers can relax, enjoying the passing scenery, all with their feet in basins 2.4 meters in length, ideally placed along the windows of the train.
This new line Toreiyu (a combination of the Japanese words for sun, train and hot spring) will be launched in July 2014 traveling a distance of 150 km (about 2 hours) between Fukushima and Shinjo.
JR Kyuhsu launched its 7 Stars in Kyushu, a replica of the Orient Express circulating the island of Kyushu. On the other side of the island, JR East aims to promote tourism in two prefectures that do not have the wind in their sails, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March of 2011, and Yamagata city being one of the most neglected major cities in the country.