February 23, 2019 Sat
114km Café
Recent visitors to Miyazu train station will have noticed the addition of a pop-up coffee store: 114km Café. Using money sourced from crowdfunding, the Tango Tetsudo railway company has collaborated with the famous Nikko Coffee Company to produce a series of special blends representing each of Tango’s main towns. (The 114km represents the length of the Tango Tetsudo railway.) Being an amateur coffee lover, I had to try Yosano’s blend: a mix of Guatemalan, Brazilian and Columbian coffee beans creates a mild and gentle flavour - perfect, in other words, to sip as the train trundles alongside the rugged, wild ocean and between steep, fertile valleys. Compared with the recently-constructed highway to Kyoto and Osaka, the local railways, which are often single-track and single-carriage, are sometimes frustratingly slow to use. Recognising this, the train company has made attempts to innovate and attract tourists in recent years, for example by featuring several uniquely decorated trains, which often come with a small snack bar - a neat nod to a bygone era. For those inclined, Tango railways also offers interesting railway-themed experiences, especially on its special ‘kuromatsu’ trains tours, which serve local cuisine to match the seasonal landscape outside. Those used to the rest of Japan’s rail network may miss its swish convenience, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to enjoy the incredible landscape before it disappears in the blink of an eye…

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