Day 7 – Another joyful train! The Shu Kura .

I decided to go to Yahiko to see the shrine there and taking the Shu-Kura joyful train was really purely by chance! I missed an earlier train which I had wanted to take and the next train was an express train which turned out to be the Shu-Kura!

I noticed something a little difference as I walked past the train windows then I realized it was the Shu-Kura! What I wasn’t too sure about was whether this was a fully reserved train… So i apprehensively boarded it and took a seat and what I thought was a public area, keeping my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t be kicked out.

In the refreshments car, there was a jazz band entertaining the guests.

The train had nice big windows to allow passengers to enjoy the view. As the train pulled out, we had the station staff sending us off with festive flag-waving.

Shortly after the train left the station, the area where the jazz band was playing was converted into a sake-tasting area! Since I didn’t drink, I didn’t get to enjoy the free sake tasting. I can imagine how this could be a total wonderland for sake lovers!

The windows in the refreshment car were designed like what I thought were windows that looked like traditional japanese house windows so you can get the whole sake drinking experience.

Similar to the Genbi Shinkansen, the train had their own unique refreshments. It included a traditional niigata meal which I didn’t feel like trying. I simply bought a donut with a cup of coffee.

More views of the other car.

The general seating car (I think!). Here’s where I camped for the hour-long journey.

External view of the train at Yahiko station.

Overall, it was another enjoyable experience. This is definitely one for the sake drinkers but it was still something any train lover should try. I think with this second ‘joyful train’ I’m quite inspired to try other joyful trains if I get the chance! Japan really makes taking the train such a fun experience.

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