JR firms offer cross-country train tour featuring a ride on the resurrected Cassiopeia

JIJI

The seven Japan Railways Group companies have announced that they will offer a special across-Japan sightseeing tour plan using 24 select trains, including the Cassiopeia overnight limited express, whose regular operations ended in March last year.

The joint project, announced on Tuesday, is among events to mark the 30th anniversary of the privatization of the Japanese National Railways, through which the seven JR firms were created.

Participants in the 10-day train tour, limited to 60 people, will first go north on Dec. 5 from Ueno Station on the Cassiopeia, pulled by a Japan Freight Railway Co. electric locomotive.

The JR Group said train fans will be surprised to see a freight locomotive head the luxury sleeper train, which was operated chiefly by East Japan Railway Co. and Hokkaido Railway Co. when it was in regular service.

After arriving in Sapporo, the tour members will turn south. On their way to Kyushu, they will take various trains, including JR East’s special shinkansen featuring modern art and Kyushu Railway Co.’s A-Train. Participants will also stop at Nagoya, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Kyoto and other cities with many tourist attractions.

They will return to Tokyo on Dec. 14.

The tour will cost ¥390,000 to ¥480,000 per person, including meals.

The JR Group will also offer an 80-member three-day shinkansen tour through Japan departing the same day for ¥150,000 per person.

The group started accepting applications for both special tours, which are limited to adults, on Wednesday.