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Beer Train

Yes, readers, this post is titled "Beer Train". What is a Beer Train, you might ask? It is a delightfully Japanese summer train event, apparently. Every Saturday, a two-car train is commandeered for the express purpose of all-you-can-drink fun. Tables are set up between the banks of seats and staff members supply the lucky riders with as much beer and/or rice wine as they can drink in 80 minutes.

That's the beer-station where there were coolers of canned drinks and whole jugs of beer that were poured via tube "taps". And they weren't insubstantial mugs:

And just to clarify: only ONE of those mugs is mine. Not both. One.
The ride also came with dinner: skewers of yakitori and a variety lunchbox. Not bad.

Here's my host family and I on the train. You can't see in this photo (and I have no digital copies of photos that do show it), but both my host mom and I are wearing yukata (summer kimono) because women that do get their tickets for about $10 cheaper. So it's a festive affair with all the women wearing yukata and the entire train growing ever more raucous. (Again to clarify: I was fine. I saw people go through more than four large mugs of beer and I happily stuck to one...)

At the halfway point there was a random hula-dancing performance. Then the train turned around and ended up at the same station it left from. It was a weird experience: something that is so clearly made to result in tipsiness if not drunken customers it's simply not something I can see flying in America. But it was nice to spend some quality time with my host family nonetheless.


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