JR East offering ‘shinkansen for pets,’ including dog-friendly vacation packages

JR (Japan Railways) East are offering a new tour package that allows pet owners to travel on the shinkansen with their pets in tow. While the package is being billed as Japan’s first “shinkansen for pets,” the promotional images and name “Woof-cation” suggest that the tour is aimed at dog owners.

Current train guidelines state that passengers traveling with pets must keep them in cages for the duration of their journey, but the new Woof-cation chartered shinkansen train service will allow 40 minutes of “family time,” during which passengers can enjoy the trip with their dogs out of the cage, be it on their lap or on a covered seat.

The Woof-cation chartered Shinkansen will take passengers from Tokyo’s Ueno Station to Karuizawa City in Nagano Prefecture, where they will spend the night at one of two pet-friendly accommodations that offer services for dog owners — the Karuizawa Prince Hotel East Dog Cottage, which offers services for canine guests on arrival such as nail clipping, ear cleaning and other treatments, or the Dog Dept Garden Hotel, a newly built resort-style complex with an open terrace café, restaurant, and an all-weather indoor dog run.

▼ Rooms in the Dog Dept Garden Hotel


▼ The Karuizawa Prince Hotel East Dog Cottage has a cabin-like feel.


Upon arriving in Karuizawa, guests can take part in a photoshoot with a professional photographer in the hotel’s dog run, followed by a training class for the dogs, with a private evening party to finish. Professional trainers and veterinarians will be present for the run of the tour, and guests can enjoy socialising with other dog lovers, as well as letting their dogs hang out and have fun together too.

The tour will take place on May 21, with prices starting at 106,000 yen per human couple or 67,000 per person. The tour is also limited to 30 pairs, and anyone interested in taking a train trip with their pooch can apply via the website.

Guests should be aware that this is a test run for potential future tours, and as such the media will be there filming and taking pictures, so you’ll want to make sure your prized pup is camera ready before getting on the train.

Related: Karuizawa Prince Hotel East Dog Cottage booking site

Source: JR East via NetLab

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