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Travel & Leisure

Japanese luxury trains back on track as they transit to COVID era

JR East eager to revive slumping revenue and rural economies along its routes

JR East hopes the long-awaited resumption of its flagship luxury train Train Suite Shiki-shima will also help revitalize virus-hit local economies along its routes, which connect Tokyo's Ueno Station with the Kanto-Koshinetsu and Tohoku regions.

TOKYO -- Japanese railway operators, including East Japan Railway, known as JR East, have resumed luxury train services as they adjust to the new normal, following a hiatus of several months due to the coronavirus.

JR East's Train Suite Shiki-shima restarted operations in August. The luxury sightseeing train was idle between April and July, resulting in about 600 ticket cancellations. To bring back passengers and reassure a jittery public, the Tokyo-based operator has implemented more stringent disinfection practices of its trains, as well as other safety measures.

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