NIIGATA - JNR East has debuted its newest train, the 'KAIRI', which runs along coastal Niigata Prefecture and the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture and offers fine dining at speed.
The name KAIRI means 'sea village', drawing upon the strong historical and cultural influence of the ocean on the coastal towns that line the area.
The train operates from Niigata station, which is known for its ski resorts and natural hot springs, to Sakata, a city near Mount Haguro famed for the pilgrimage spot, Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa, with panoramic views of the Sea of Japan along the way.
The KAIRI train also offers the best of the Niigata and Shonai cuisines. Niigata Prefecture is the preeminent district for high-class Japanese dining.
The KAIRI culinary journey in Niigata starts with a seasonally rotating selection of dishes offered by three major fine dining Japanese restaurants: Ikinariya, Nabechaya and Ichishime. These restaurants were all established in the Edo period in the late 1840s.
From the Shonai area in Yamagata prefecture, local Italian restaurant Al Ché-cciano will provide seasonal dishes in a Japanese-Italian style fusion.