a train on the tracks

If you love travel, you probably love planes, trains and automobiles in some order or another. They transport us to amazing new places and things. But sometimes they can do even better and provide amusement throughout the journey, not just upon arrival.

Mexico’s tequila train is a stellar example, but apparently it’s far from the only sip inspired train journey. Japan boasts its own livening adventure with the “Sake train”, one of Japan’s 44 “joyful” trains. Cool, right?

The train not only weaves riders on a joyful jaunt along sweeping hills and coastline, but also offers a unique, local taste of what the region is most known for: rice wine and sake. which aims to transports riders not only through a beautiful rural journey but a delightful taste of one of the country’s most historic and revered products.

Here’s the scoop on the Koshino Shukura, including what you get for just about $50 bucks on this 2.5 hour journey of amusement and experience.

a train on the tracks

The “Sake” Train

The Niigata prefecture, which is like Japanese for “state” is a beautiful area but hardly as traveled as Osaka, Kyoto or Tokyo. You can find Niigata directly north and a little bit west of Tokyo, about a four hour train journey away. That alone keeps many jet lagged people out.

But once you’ve done the tick-box Tokyo stuff, it’s cool to explore a land and Niigata has a great hook. The sake train, more formally known as the Koshino Shukura takes riders on a journey that for about $54 USD gets you not only a 2.5 hour country tour but a whole lot of delicious, locally made sake and a light meal.

Yes, to reiterate you’ll get basically a tastefully curated open bar sampling sake’s made some mere feet from the tracks in some cases, in the amazing rice fields of the area.

There are already a million reasons to visit Japan and discover the joys of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and more, and a ‘sake train’ easily counts as reason million and one.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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