Oct 24, 2011

Tokyo Sake Train

The Tama Monorail line, crossing JR Chuo line at right angles near Tachikawa Station, runs north to south. It is quite a short line and, actually, it takes only 36 minutes to travel from Kamikitadai, the north end station, to Tama Center, the south end. The event of "Tokyo Sake Train 2011 Autumn," which chartered a monorail train of this line, was held on October 1. The participants could enjoy the ride of this train while drinking various sakes brewed in Tokyo. I was among the participants on this day, the sake day, a perfect day for enjoying sake!

My friend and I, after going through the acceptance procedure At Kamikitadai Station, got on the train, found our specified seats, and got seated. The cars were just ordinary commuter cars having long benches on which passengers were to be seated their backs facing against the windows. However, this time, tables had been brought in each car, and arranged between the benches. Placed on the tables were bottles of Tokyo sake.

After leaving Kamikitadai Station, the train was to go to Tama Center Station, and it was to turn back and reach Tachikawa Kita Station. Then, the event was to be over. The travel time between Kamikitadai to Tama Cneter is 36 minutes and Tama Center to Tachikawa Kita is 24 minutes. So, actual time of our ride was only 50 minutes. Don't you think this time length is too short to enjoy sake to your heart's content?

Actually, this train had a long stop of 55 minutes at Tama Center. During this stop, the participants could continue drinking at their seats, visit other cars to find any good sake or people to talk with, or get out of the train to move onto the platform. On the platform, a live concert by President Ishikawa of Ishikawa Brewery, the producer of Tamajiman Sake, was being held. So, this event was more enjoyable than I expected. When the train was stopped, we could easily walk around in the cars and had no difficulty to pour sake

After dark, somewhere before Tachikawa Kita, the lights in the train were turned off, and we could enjoy the nightscape from the train running on the raised monorail track. It must be a rare opportunity to look down the nightscape from the inside of a dark train.

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