To have your furry best friend in one of Japan’s most famous Shinkansen trains headed to a stunning holiday town sounds wonderful to everyone’s ears.
For the first time, 21 pets were permitted to run free in a pet-friendly train on Saturday as part of the Japan Railways (JR) test run.
Dogs usually have to travel in a carrier when they ride the trains with high speeds racing across the nation.
But pet ownership is a big business in Japan, and the demand for more convenient pet travel is rising.
Corgis, Pomeranians, and Schnauzers arrived the Tokyo’s Ueno station and then made the long drive of an hour to the town of Karuizawa, which lies to the northwest of Tokyo.
Their owners, seated on seats covered in plastic, could relax with their pets rather than worrying about their pets condition.
“He must be in a cage every time we travel, so we had to keep an eye on him,” Yoko Okubo, traveling with her Corgi, said to AFP, the news organization.
“Today, we don’t have to do that. It is easier to travel in this manner.”
Pets are a significant industry in Japan.
According to Statistica, the market – mostly dominated by cats and dogs -should to grow to ¥1.7 trillion ($13.2 Billion) in 2022.
While walking through Tokyo, you can quickly lose count of the numerous shops specializing in dogs’ accessories, including diamante-adorned collars and luxury brand dog strollers. The fluffy dogs frolic around in the stores, and they cost millions of yen.
For some pet owners, putting their pets in a tiny carrier – that can’t exceed 10kg is a bit unjust.
“We often travel together. However, there is always a guilt of having my pet in a carrier”. Yukari Seino, traveling with her dog, Chobi, said to AFP.
“We have no worries today. The typical journey with the bullet train isn’t as enjoyable, and people become bored. However, today is a lot of fun.”
Japan Railways launched the trial after its customers requested more comfortable travel with pets, and the company also said it would be organizing more pet-friendly trains in the future.
The bullet trains – with speed upto 320 km/h are famous for their cleanliness, efficiency, and speed.
Along with the seats covered in plastic, there are air purifiers inside the carriage. They also said they would clean it afterward to eliminate any trace from dog fur.
VIDEO: On Japan’s bullet trains, dogs usually have to travel in a carrier, but on Saturday they could stretch their paws and enjoy the scenery on a special pet-friendly express pic.twitter.com/r02hwWjF5z— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 24, 2022