SINGAPORE - There is a new train operator in town, but instead of operating trains, it will be opening a cafe at the ground level of Tanjong Pagar Centre, and it's also where you can buy Japan rail tickets.
Called Japan Rail Cafe, the first overseas venture by Japanese train operator East Japan Railway (JR East) will accept its first 'passengers' on Dec 4, the company announced in a statement today.
Rail passes from other Japan railway companies (JR Kyushu, JR West, JR Shikoku, JR Central and JR Hokkaido) can also be purchased at the cafe.
Items on the menu include Kaisen Avocado Don (seafood avocado rice bowl), rice bowls, and the Ultimate A.B.C burger from Japanese fast food chain Becker's.
Made up of a 160g wagyu beef patty, avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, and buns from Asanoya Bakery, the Ultimate A.B.C burger is one of the signature dishes on offer at the cafe.
A special menu will also be launched monthly featuring dishes from the month's featured region, JR East added.
Staff from JR East will also be stationed at the cafe to recommend destinations around Japan for customers planning for their upcoming trips.
Customers can also participate in workshops jointly organised by JR East and the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), local governments in Japan, and Japanese corporations.
"Through regular activities such as scrapbooking and other interactive workshops, we aim to promote more interest in the less well-known sightseeing regions for adventurous Singaporeans who actively plan their itineraries, even few months prior to their trips", said Makoto Yamataka, general manager of Japan Rail Cafe, Singapore.
There is also a retail section at the cafe that will carry rotational items from the monthly featured region. A selection of trendy items from Japan will also be available at the store.
"We hope to build a community in Singapore for Japan lovers to have a two-way communication with us while deepening their interest and understanding of Japanese culture," Mr Yamataka added.
"I believe by knowing more about other less explored regions, Singaporeans would find more excitement in travelling further beyond the familiar areas such as Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka."