Maybe you’ve heard of the latest railway-themed hotel in Singapore, or explored the newly restored historic Bukit Timah Railway Station, and you’ve dreamed of taking a slow ride on the Eastern & Oriental Express, then the Japan Rail Fair 2022 is for you.
Held for the first time in person and online from 14 to 16 October in Tanjong Pagar, the fair has a wide array of train-themed activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of Japan’s railway system in 1872!
Our first stop is Akita Prefecture, where you’ll get to sample Akita Prefecture’s flavourful rice and smoked daikon radish pickles, also named for the Akita Shinkansen line, which takes you on a train journey from Tokyo to Akita.
After experiencing an immersive Akita experience, head over to the yukata booth and try on a traditional yukata, and strike a pose at the fair’s photo wall! Then, you’ll be treated to a performance from the Wind Ensemble Nippon Singapore, where you’ll hear a medley of JR East’s famous Yamanote Line eki-melodies (train station jingles) that will make you feel like you’re about to board a train in Tokyo, as well as famous anime and train-themed songs.
End off the first day of the fair by celebrating Tetsudo no Hi (Railway Day) with a livestream of the celebration in Japan, visiting historic railway sites and celebrating its 150th anniversary with a grand event, and live music performances by local talents.
The next two days of the fair have exciting line-ups as well, with a photo-taking event with JAL’s cabin crew, where you’ll get the chance to dress up in the Japan Airlines uniform and snap pics with the airline’s crew! There will also be train paper craft and colouring workshops by JR East on 14 and 15 October, and traditional dance and Wadaiko drum performances on 16 October.
A lucky draw will be held at the fair as well, where you stand to win a pair of economy class tickets to Tokyo via JAL. Ghibli Park is opening in Japan soon, so why not pay a visit and check out adorable Studio Ghibi characters if you win?
For those who miss playing with toy trains, check out the fascinating train diorama of Plarail (railroad toys) by TOMY which are sure to interest train enthusiasts.
And if you’re visiting the Japan Rail Cafe during October, there are special ekiben (train themed-bentos) which come in two variations served in a train ekiben container, which you can keep as a souvenir!
The Hayabusa Ekiben (S$21++) is a bento with rice balls, chicken karaage, tamagoyaki, mixed vegetables and a cherry (tomato) on top, as well as chocolate cake cubes and a drink to top it off. The Karaage Chicken Ekiben (S$20++) is made to resemble the classic ekiben that has been served in the Tokaido Shinkansen since 1964 in an ekiben with one section filled with tomato rice mixed with peas and button mushrooms, and the other with karaage chicken and potato chips.
Convincing enough for you to check it out? Then all-aboard for the Japan Rail Fair 2022, where you can expect a rail-ly good time!
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