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Check Out the Introductory Video of the Genbi Shinkansen, Running Through Niigata

“The ‘fun bullet train to ride’ in Niigata - Steps until its operation begins”(新潟の「のってたのしい列車」~現美新幹線・運行開始までの軌跡~) is a documentary video of the The Genbi Shinkansen.
The word “Genbi” is an abbreviation of “Gendai Bijutsu (現代美術),” meaning “modern art” in Japanese.
This train, limitedly operated by JR East Joetsu Shinkansen, belongs to the Niigata Shinkansen Vehicle Center.

When its operation started in 2016, the Genbi Shinkansen used to run between Echigoyuzawa Station to Niigata Station only within Niigata prefecture.
After 2017, however, it now runs between Niigata Station and Tokyo Station as a travel-only train.
It also runs from Sendai in Fukushima to Omiyama in Saitama for a special tour.

In this three-minute video, you can see the production scene of the Genbi Shinkansen until its debut.
Did you know that such a beautiful train runs in Japan...?

What Is the Genbi Shinkansen? A Look at Its Designs!

The Genbi Shinkansen in Niigata attracts the attention of many people, as it’s known as the train of the “fastest art appreciation gallery in the world.”
As a train with a brand-new concept of the “moving museum,” the Genbi Shinkansen displays many modern artworks made for this bullet train.

The artwork on the body of the train, which you can see at 0:40 in the video, is designed by Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa.
The inside of the train was designed and created by a lot of artists.
Many artists designed and created various exteriors and interiors, which make for great photos.
In 2018, the exterior design was renewed; the Genbi Shinkansen became a more attractive bullet train.

As of November 2019, the Genbi Shinkansen runs as a temporary train of the bullet train “Toki (No. 451-456),” making three round trips a day, mainly on Saturdays and holidays. It operates between Echigoyuzawa Station and Niigata Station within Niigata prefecture, which takes about 50 minutes.
It stops at the following five stations: Echigoyuzawa Station, Urasa Station, Nagaoka Station, Tsubamesanjo Station, and Niigata Station.

The Interior of the Genbi Shinkansen!

As seen at 0:59 in the video, people started to work on the interior of the Genbi Shinkansen at the Niigata Shinkansen Vehicle Center in February 2016.
Artists started to move their artworks into the train on the very first day.

From 1:32, the video shows each interior design of the Genbi Shinkansen.
The 11th car (designed by the artist Nao Matsumoto), is a reserved seat car with limited express tickets, and is designed with the concept of the “five harvests,” “festivals,” and “lights,” while the 12th car (designed by the artist Yusuke Komuta) is designed with mirrors to reflect the world through its car windows. You can also enjoy each innovative contemporary art exhibit in the 14th car (designed by the photographer Naoki Ishikawa), the 15th car (designed by the artist Haruka Kojin), and the 16th car (designed by the artist Brian Alfred).

In the 13th car, there is a playing room for kids with the toy Pla-rail (designed by the artist paramodel) and a café (designed by the artist Kentaro Kobuke), where you can enjoy drinks from Tsubame Coffee by Tatsuyuki Tanaka and sweet treats of the cake shop Romi-Unie.
In the café space, you can also buy some railway items, including the N-scale model railway.
Please find your favorite item there.

The 12th, 14th, 15th, and 16th cars have non-reserved seats where you can enjoy artworks.
The Genbi Shinkansen was completed in March 2016 and its departure ceremony was celebrated on April 29, 2016, as you can see at 1:55 in the video.

Summary of the Genbi Shinkansen

The Genbi Shinkansen, operated as Joetsu Shinkansen’s joyful train, runs at a top speed of 240 kilometers per hour. So we can definitely call it the "fastest art museum in the world."
When you travel to Niigata or Sendai, please try out the Genbi Shinkansen.

For more information please take a look at the official website of JR East; You can see its schedule, fares, reservations, operation days, operation routes, connections, and so on.
At 2:33 in this video, you can see a colorful Shinkansen running through the nature of Japan.
I know the beautiful design makes me want to take a ride at least once.

【Official Website】The Genbi Shinkansen: The fun bullet train to ride (JR East Niigata Branch)

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!

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An Art Gallery Running at 240 KM per Hour?! The Fastest Form of Art Appreciation: The Genbi Shinkansen - A Combination of Modern Art and Trains Attracting Both Art and Railway Enthusiasts
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