Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Fuji-san: New Name of JR East's Holiday Rapid Train

Display on the front of the EMU JR East 189 series, "Holiday Rapid, Fuji-san"
It is slightly old news, but JR East changed the name of its train that travels to the foot of Mt. Fuji on July 6th, 2013. The new name of the train is "Holiday Rapid Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji)".

What is Holiday Rapid? It is a JR East's special train operated between the city area and the tourist sites on the weekends. For instance, Holiday Rapid Okutama is operated between Shinjuku and Okutama, and Holiday Rapid Kamakura is operated between Minami-Koshigaya and Kamakura stations. Holiday Rapid is an express service, but no extra fee is needed for boarding. So, many holidaymakers use it to go to the resort areas in the suburbs of Tokyo.

Holiday Rapid Fuji-san was originally named Holiday Rapid Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi). Why has the train name been changed? Because, Mt. Fuji was added to the UNESCO list of the World Heritage sites on June 22nd, 2013, Taking this opportunity, JR East changed the name of the train to promote tourists to visit the new heritage site. You can see the new name "Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji)" on the frontal display of the train.

For your information, the EMU JR East 189 series went into service as Holiday Rapid Fuji-san train. The 189 series was launched in 1975 by Japan National Railways (JNR). It is frequently called "JNR limited express type" EMU. Although JNR has been abolished, many rail fans are still boosterish about this design with a large bonnet.

Holiday Rapid Fuji-san is operated between JR East Shinjuku (or Tokyo) and Kawaguchi-ko on the Fujikyu Line.
Holiday Rapid Fuji-san (left) and the Ozashiki 485, Hana (right)
More information about Holiday Rapid Fuji-san (Fujikyu website, in Japanese):