There’s arguably no more festive a time here in Japan than during sakura season. The country loves a seasonal holiday, but the fanfare that surrounds the arrival of the country’s cherry blossoms is way beyond comparison. Beers, snacks, coffees, beauty products…throughout March and April, everything is covered in the soft pink pillowy flowers in celebration, and now we can add trains to that list.
The Tokyo Metro is joining in on the sakura madness with the official launch of their very special “Sakura Train.” The train has been designed as a way to help draw attention to some of the city’s best cherry blossom viewing spots dotted throughout the city.
The idea was a collaboration with Japanese beer giant Asahi, who over the years have garnered themselves quite the reputation for taking sakura season to a whole new decorative level. From the beginning of March until late April, you can find Asahi beers adorned with artfully designed pink sakura-themed cans and bottles, making them a top pick for many hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) goers all season long.
With specially designed window stickers that give off the illusion that the train is passing through fields of cherry trees in full bloom, and pale pink petals scattered throughout the carriages, it’s sure to make even the most congested, peak hour train ride a delight.
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The train is running only on the Ginza Line between March 12 to April 8, passing through some of the city’s most well-trafficked stations including Shibuya, Omotesando, Ginza, Ueno and Asakusa.
If you do happen to find yourself on this stunning flower-covered carriage, count yourself lucky, as the sakura train is rather elusive, limited to just one of the 1000 series trains.
Never afraid of being a little out there, this is the same metro network of trains that run an annual scavenger hunt throughout the city, one that’s becoming a cult travelling favourite.
Although it’s a pretty exciting little addition to the country’s comprehensive network of trains, it’s arguably not the most unique. Just last year, Japan announced the creation of a cat café train hybrid, and shinkansen bullet trains that would soon be barking like dogs and snorting like deer.
If it’s weird and fascinating train trips you’re after, you can always make a short coastal and countryside trip an hour from Tokyo city to ride the Enoden railway around the beautiful beach towns of Kamakura and Enoshima.