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miyakoji

JR East will modify a 719 series 2-car train for excursion operation on the Ban'etsu West Line.  Called the 'Frutia' or 'Frutea' (apparently a combination of fruit and tea), one car will have a cafe counter and the other will have seating.  The livery is inspired by red brick and traditional black plaster of lineside neighborhoods as well as the region's beautiful natural areas.  Also influencing both exterior and interior details and styling is Japanese/Western architecture and design from the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) periods.  There's more about this that I can't seem to shape into coherent English :grin :(.

 

It will run on the Ban'etsu West Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Koriyama, primarily on Sundays and holidays from the end of April 2015.  On board, original sweets and beverages made from Fukushima produce will be served,

 

 

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2014/11/27/476/

http://railf.jp/news/2014/11/28/150000.html

http://www.jr-sendai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/fruitea.pdf

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cteno4

Hey they stole my idea for the train shaped cakes!!

 

Jeff

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katoftw

Was Eiji Mitooka not available so they used a kid straight out of college to design it?  The outside is not appealing to the eye and the interior is just look bland and unclassy.  The attempt at a modern look just hasn't paid off in the colours or finishes.

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Kabutoni

Fruit... Tea... Personally, I stay far away from any tea beyond jasmine, black and green. Especially fruit teas, as I consider them just warm lemonade without sugar. Which they bloody are. Anyway, this train looks pretty nice. It's not your usual train design, but that is not the purpose of the design. It's designed to stand out from the rest.

 

As far as I know, JR East has no affiliation with Mr. Mitooka and I think that is good. JR Kyūshū has given Mitooka's studio regular contracts to give the trains distinctive looks to match their company. JR East does it the JR East way. Mitooka makes playful, cosy and warm Western Japan-esque designs, which doesn't match the polished aluminium and precast concrete Kantō style. 

 

For this train, I have the feeling the same group that did the JR East 235-1000 Nikkō/Kinugawa design (which I will be on in two weeks tripple ballin'), but managed to pull off their taste for closely related tones with adding a neutral grey tone and very contrasting black.

Edited by Toni Babelony
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cteno4

Totally agree Toni, fruit and tea not the same universe, same with herbal! I always ask in restaurants about the ice tea.

 

Me "is the ice tea a black tea?"

 

Server puzzled look " well it's a regular tea"

 

Me "so it's not an herbal or fruit tea?"

 

Server "no it's plain tea"

 

Me "so a black tea like liptons?"

 

Server "yeah, I think it's rasberry passion fruit!"

 

Me "I'll have a beer."

 

I also agree the design is nice, it keeps some Japanese esthetic with the modern in there. Tones stay muted and don't clash or scream. The wood work looks pretty light which lately seems to have gone heavy when used in some recent Japanese interiors. The use of the darker woods is interesting, gives a richer feeling and some contrast when they do use stainless or aluminum. Again lots of recent trains are very blonde wood tones or oak at the darkest and gets pretty washed out fast. It looks like I would want to run my hands over the wood details which is always a good sign.

 

Interiors are hard to photograph being long and narrow and tight camera angles that end up with uber wide angled lenses and fish eyeing. Lighting is also tough being the extremes. I've had to do this on boats and same challenges!

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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katoftw

As far as I know, JR East has no affiliation with Mr. Mitooka and I think that is good. JR Kyūshū has given Mitooka's studio regular contracts to give the trains distinctive looks to match their company. JR East does it the JR East way. Mitooka makes playful, cosy and warm Western Japan-esque designs, which doesn't match the polished aluminium and precast concrete Kantō style. 

Fukushima is in Tohoku and not Kanto?

 

As for Mitookas not doing Kanto style work.  The Frutia effort (Fukushima) is further away from from Kanto to some of the trains and stations Mitooka has worked on in the Yamanashi Prefecture.

 

I do see you point between the styles and which appeals to the locals.  I guess as an outsider I don't have the hometown hang ups or favourite styles I like.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for cartoons and woodwork? haha

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Kabutoni

The last time I walked past the JR East HQ, it was still in Shinjuku, in the Kanto area and not in Tohoku.

 

P.s. the reason why there are Mitooka styled trains running closer to Tokyo than this new Fruitia is because of the Median Tectonic Line, which is next to a fault line, also a significant cultural divider. JR East are on the east side of this line, whereas JR Kyūshū and others are on the west side. The cultural differences are pretty big, as well as the economic rivalry between the two sides.

Edited by Toni Babelony

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Densha

The last time I walked past the JR East HQ, it was still in Shinjuku, in the Kanto area and not in Tohoku.

Err yes I'm sure it is, but the first line in the first post of this topic clearly stated this: "It will run on the Ban'etsu West Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Koriyama"

However you look at it, Fukushima prefecture is not Kanto.

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Kabutoni

However you look at it, Fukushima prefecture is not Kanto.

 

It's not Kanto per-se, but it is under the direct cultural and economical influence of it. I didn't recall calling the area a Kanto region, but rather a region of JR East that is dictated by decisions made in the Kanto region.

Edited by Toni Babelony

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miyakoji

Almost 5 months later, I'm glad this thread is becoming popular :grin

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bikkuri bahn

JR East has no affiliation with Mr. Mitooka and I think that is good

 

Me too. I think he's overrated.  A few of his designs are good, but overall, like the whole JR Kyushu aesthetic, I find most too busy and derivative. Prefer Kansai Yamamoto or Ken Okuyama.

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katoftw

I didn't think my comment in jest would get a mini debate happening.  But it does have me intrigued about the views of Kantoians.  The views of square, simple and understated have been shared as likes.

 

I'm curious how a Kantoian veiws the colours and curves of JR East shinkansens?  They seem well opposite to the likes?

Edited by katoftw

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Kabutoni

I didn't think my comment in jest would get a mini debate happening.  But it does have me intrigued about the views of Kantoians.  The views of square, simple and not overstated have been shared as likes.

 

I'm curious how a Kantoian veiws the colours and curves of JR East shinkansens?  They seem well opposite to the likes?

 

How about elegance? ;)

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katoftw

Explain deeper if you could please?  Thanks in advance.

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Kabutoni

Explain deeper if you could please?  Thanks in advance.

 

The designs that JR East commissions (or if they are in-house designs, I don't know), all have a very uniform style. Even the Shinkansen and special trains are in line with the commuter train designs. Of course JR East Shinkansen have extreme curves and designs, as they need to be like that for aerodynamics. The renewal designs of for example the Tsubasa Yamagata Shinkansen might have brash colours, but the design is elegant, not busy and overcrowded with tags, slogans and design details like Mitooka designs.

 

Looking at the designs from the early and late 90s, JR East looks like it wants step away from the blandness of that era's liveries and offer the relaxing and elegant atmosphere of contemporary Japanese design.

 

Special trains of course need to look special to stand out from the rest of the crowd, but needn't be busy, as customers use these trains to have a good time and relax.

 

Next to that, it makes JR East look like serious company that wants to show robustness, forward thinking, and care to their customers. The simplistic, yet elegant designs are a vital part of this apparent scheme. JR East makes a profit, keeps investing and doesn't have to attract people from far away to make ends meet. Hence, JR East stays away from the 'toy-like' and fun designs. These instant-happiness designs are more suited for companies that struggle to get customers, which is not a bad thing since it works.

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Sacto1985

By the way, I do think the FruiTea train may run more than just on Sundays. If it becomes popular, don't be surprised another JR East 719 Series trainset is modified and we see the train run on Saturdays and Sundays from April to end of October. And they could modify a couple KiHa 110 DMU trainsets to run it on the Ban'etsu East Line (neé Yūyū Abukuma Line) between Koriyama and Iwaki.

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katoftw

Doubtful they would need to make another set.  A train running 2 days a week won't warrant it.  Has they other 5 days for maintenence.  And the cooler months of no service for overhaul work.

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Davo Dentetsu

I think it's a nice simple exercise.  A very modern style but not overdone.  Thumbs up from me.

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JR 500系

I saw the advertisements all around the stations; the cake really looks good! Now I would love to have that in N scale please? We don't get much black trains...

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Densha

the cake really looks good! Now I would love to have that in N scale please?

I'm afraid that would be about 0.5 x 0.5 mm size. That's a bit difficult to identify without a microscope. :grin

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JR 500系

I'm afraid that would be about 0.5 x 0.5 mm size. That's a bit difficult to identify without a microscope. :grin

 

Haha I was actually referring to the train in N scale ~  But the cake in N scale would be a nicer touch ~ :)

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