• Kyodo

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East Japan Railway Co. on Monday unveiled its new luxury Saphir Odoriko express train ahead of its March 14 launch between Tokyo and a spa resort area in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The eight-car train with all Green Car, or first-class, seating is named after the French word for “sapphire.” JR East said it drew inspiration for the train’s design from the blue ocean and sky of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The train can carry up to 164 passengers and will connect Tokyo and Shinjuku stations in the capital with Izukyu Shimoda Station in Shizuoka.

The lead car has 20 premium seats arranged in pairs, while the following two cars consist of private compartments for four or six people each.

The fourth car is a cafeteria serving noodles cooked to order, while the remaining cars feature standard Green Car seating.

JR East commissioned two E261 series trains for the service, and the 251 series Super View Odoriko express trains currently connecting Tokyo and Shizuoka Prefecture will be scrapped.

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