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JR to debut new 'Fuji Excursion' direct train from Tokyo to foot of Mt. Fuji

An E-353 series train is seen in this photo provided by Fuji Kyuko Co. The model will run between Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Kawaguchiko Station in Yamanashi prefecture as a "Fuji Excursion" train.

TOKYO -- A limited express train service connecting Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko stations will debut this coming March, mainly targeting inbound tourists looking to travel directly from Tokyo to enjoy views of Mount Fuji.

Dubbed the "Fuji Excursion," the service will connect Tokyo's Shinjuku Station and Kawaguchiko Station on Fuji Kyuko's Kawaguchiko Line in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, Japan's highest and most famous peak.

The launch of the new service will come as part of revisions to the train schedules of the seven Japan Railway group companies on March 16, 2019. The outline of the updated timetable was released on Dec. 14.

According to the announcement, a total of 70 "Nozomi" bullet train services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line will travel between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka in western Japan in 2 hours and 27 to 30 minutes -- 3 minutes less than the current travel time.

The "Hayabusa" bullet train on the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line will also raise its maximum speed by 20 kilometers per hour to run 160 kph while inside the undersea Seikan Tunnel, which connects the Honshu mainland to the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. This will enable a travel between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in Hokkaido to take a mere 3 hours and 58 minutes at the fastest.

Meanwhile, supreme "Gran Class" service will be introduced on some bullet trains on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line, which runs to Niigata Prefecture along the Sea of Japan, by adding the E-7 series train to its regular line-up. The model has already been installed on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa on the Sea of Japan. However, the Gran Class service on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line will come with no meal or drink services and will be priced at around 2,000 yen cheaper than its Hokuriku and Tohoku Shinkansen counterpart lines.

On the Chuo Line connecting the heart of Tokyo to Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures, the limited express trains, including the "Super Azusa," will also be replaced with a new model.

(Japanese original by Masatoshi Saito, City News Department)

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