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Japanese bullet train to have foot baths, tatami mats
Monday July 7, 2014 6:32 PM, EFE

A new high-speed Japanese train will offer its passengers the option of getting a foot bath or relaxing on a tatami mat while enjoying the landscape.

The service will be available from July 19 on the high-speed Shinkansen line (known as bullet train) between Fukushima and Shinjo, in the Yamagata region in northern Japan, according to the Japanese railway company JR East.

The train, which has a capacity for 143 people, will feature a wagon especially for passengers to enjoy an "ashiyu" or traditional foot bath in hot water.

During their journey, travellers can also relax on a floor covered with tatami mats in another wagon, or sample sake (rice wine) and other local products in the train's restaurant, the company added.

The so-called "train resort" intends to recreate the atmosphere of Yamagata, with its foot baths lacquered red in the colour of the safflower, the symbol of this northern Japanese region.

The design is the work of Japanese Ken Okuyama, mainly known for his works for Ferrari.

The "train resort", whose price has still not been made public by JR East, will join other sophisticated proposals of this Japanese railway company, which include wagons with suites and enclosed balconies.

The new Shinkansen services were announced as preparations are underway for the 50th anniversary of the legendary Japanese high-speed train in October.

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