Since the number of passengers on the Shinkansen has dropped significantly due to the new coronavirus, JR East has begun an experiment to transport fresh seafood1 from Miyagi prefecture to Tokyo for the first time using the seats on the Shinkansen.
Due to the impact of the new coronavirus, the number of passengers on the Tohoku Shinkansen is only 30% of the same period last year as of last week.
For this reason, JR East was the first to conduct an experiment to transport local specialty2 products to Tokyo using vacant seats.
On the 26th, squirts and oysters3 from Miyagi prefecture, which were landed on the morning of the same day, were transported to the Tohoku Shinkansen departing Sendai Station before 11:00 am.
In the first car used for transportation, the two rows of seats were faced to each other, and the seafood was put in a special box to keep the air cool so that the freshness of the seafood was preserved.
The Shinkansen arrived at Tokyo Station in about two hours, and was served as sashimi and vinegared food at the seafood restaurant on the premises4 after 2:00 pm.
According to the fishermen who participated in the initiative, when it comes to transportation by truck, it often arrives in Tokyo the next day, but if you use the Shinkansen, you can shorten the time until it is provided at restaurants by a whole day.
Tsuyoshi Hamada of the JR East supply chain management project said, "Since the Shinkansen is strong in speed and punctuality, we want to contribute to the community by carrying local products."