Mikawa-Anjo Station offers foreign visitors brief, cheap shinkansen experience
Japan Times -- Nov 28
The number of foreigners visiting Mikawa-Anjo Station, the next stop after Nagoya Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, is increasing, particularly visitors from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

But why are so many tourists stopping at this station even though there is no famous sightseeing spot or major city nearby?

At around 8:30 a.m. on a weekday, approximately 30 Indonesian tourists boarded the Kodama bullet train at Nagoya Station.

As soon as the group entered one of the empty, nonreserved carriages and found seats, they began taking photos and videos on their smartphones.

When they alighted at Mikawa-Anjo Station 10 minutes later, they took another round of photos on the platform. Soon after, a bus came to pick them up.

“Their purpose is to try the shinkansen,” said a representative from JTB Chubu in Nagoya, which arranged the tour.

The tourists had stayed at a hotel in Nagoya the night before and after going for a quick ride on the shinkansen, they boarded their tour bus and headed to a shopping mall in Shizuoka Prefecture.

“The train was very comfortable and I wish we could have ridden it all the way to its final destination,” said a 40-year-old tourist from Indonesia, who was visiting Japan with her husband.

The most popular course for foreign tourists is the Golden Route from Tokyo to Osaka, with stops at Mount Fuji and Kyoto. A majority of the tour groups, however, do not take the costly shinkansen, and instead use chartered tour buses.

But an express fare to cover one station on a nonreserved carriage on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line only costs ¥860. It is almost ¥1,400 cheaper than the ¥2,250 it would normally cost to cover a distance of 100 km or less.

It is for this reason that the “quick shinkansen ride” tour is becoming popular.

Since the seats cannot be reserved, Mikawa-Anjo Station is a popular choice because the Kodama trains are frequent and not crowded. Other popular stations include Toyohashi in Aichi Prefecture and Kakegawa in Shizuoka Prefecture.

News source: Japan Times
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