The JR West Hanayome Noren is a luxurious and unique sight-seeing train which bears a logo with the Awaji knot. The train is made up of two cars which are designed to characterize the beauty of the region of Hokuriku which includes Wajima lacquerware, Kanazawa gold leaf and Kaga Yuzen silk-dyeing. The train began its run on the 3rd of October, 2015 between Kanazawa Station and Wakura-Onsen Station on the Nanao Line of Ishikawa Prefecture.
‘Hanayome’ means bride while ‘noren’ is a type of curtain (which you can usually see hanging in front of a Japanese restaurant or store). Hence, Hanayome Noren literally means bride’s curtain. In Hokuriku, it has been a custom on the wedding day to hang a special noren at the room’s entrance where the Buddhist altar is enshrined in the house of the groom. The bride will then walk pass through the curtains and enter the room to pray to the ancestors of the groom at the altar.
This is the logo for the Hanayome Noren which is designed based on a tying style of Kaga paper strings (Ishikawa’s traditional paper craft) into a knot known as Awajimusubi. The knot is difficult to untie, so it represents a long-term relationship. The symbol is meant to convey joyous feelings when one enters the bride’s curtain and to hope for safe and happy journeys for passengers.
The train has two cars which have seats for 52 passengers. The first car has eight rooms which are adorned by Yuzen patterns. Each room is separated by a lattice which makes the rooms semi-private. The carpets on the aisles are decorated to look like the stepping stones of Japanese gardens.
On the other hand, the second car has a space called Rakuichi-rakuza for unique events. The interior is decorated with Wajima-nuri lacquerware patterns.
There are attendants dressed in yukata on board but service in the train is provided by room clerks from a popular ryokan in Kagaya, and JR West employees who receive training in Kagaya.
The exterior body of the train is red and painted with patterns which usually appear on the multi-tiered boxes used to store feasting food for the New Year holidays in Japan.
The interior has details like butterflies, gold leaf, and cherry blossoms that can be found on the ceilings, walls, and even on the doors of the bathroom. The designs in the interior part of the train are not symmetrical and have elements such as curved corridors and non-linear lighting.
Meals are available on board. Among the food choices you can pick from are sake, Kaga Bocha tea, and other traditional Japanese food. Do not worry about its quality as the food is supervised by Wakura Onsen’s five-star grand chef!
The creation of this sight-seeing train is bound to attract more tourists to Ishikawa! It is definitely one of a kind and an attraction worth sight-seeing in itself. This luxurious train ride will definitely make your vacation more worthwhile.