TOKYO - Next spring a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train is set to turn into a rolling museum of contemporary art displaying sculptures, paintings, video projections and photographs, for passengers to enjoy during their trip.
Filmmaker and Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa will design the exterior of the train, drawing inspiration from fireworks, and the total duration of the journey would be 50 minutes between the stations of Niigata and Echigo-Yuzawa.
The train, run by the East Japan Railway Company, will consist of six coaches and will mainly operate on weekends, about 120 days a year, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.
The coaches will display works by eight artists, whose details are yet unknown, and a cafeteria on board will offer products typical of the Japanese prefecture of Niigata.
The East Japan Railway company operates other bullet trains too that offer services beyond transportation.
A "train-resort" which offers the possibility of taking a foot bath or relax on a tatami (Japanese mat) while traveling has been in operation since 2014 between Fukushima and Shinjo stations in the northern region of Yamagata.
In addition, in 2017, a new train will begin running with around 20 luxury suites and a restaurant priced at $5,099 (at current exchange rates) per ticket and will tour several prefectures in northern Japan.
The Shinkansen bullet train has been running in the country for more than 50 years and has transported approximately 10,000 million passengers throughout its history.
After extending the Shinkansen network to the northern Prefecture of Aomori and southwestern Kagoshima, Japan is now planning new lines that will link the cities of Nagoya and Tokyo in 2017, allowing passengers to travel between these two cities in 40 minutes thanks to the magnetic levitation technology.