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Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train marks 30th anniversary

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Performers dance at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen line on Saturday.

A ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train line was held at JR Yamagata Station in Yamagata City on Saturday.

A train of wrapping cars featuring pictures of cherries, which are local specialty products of Yamagata Prefecture, and a mascot character of the prefecture, departed for Tokyo in the morning on the day.

Concerned officials and local residents gathered on the platform to see off the Shinkansen train clapping hands loudly.

The Yamagata Shinkansen line started services on July 1, 1992, with the nickname as Tsubasa trains. A mini-Shinkansen format, in which the bullet train cars utilize rail facilities of ordinary local train lines and enter the wider-gauge Shinkansen rail tracks, was adopted for the first time in the nation.

The Yamagata Shinkansen line connects Tokyo and Yamagata stations in two hours and 26 minutes at the shortest, and a total of about 95 million passengers have used the bullet train line.