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Tokyo Freight Terminal Open Day – May, 2023

This was a very unexpected event! Thank you Hayato-san for managing to obtain two tickets so that we could attend! We jumped on the earliest Shinkansen possible to Tokyo and transferred via Hamamatsuchō Station to the Tokyo Monorail. Hamamatsuchou is home of the peeing kid statue, so do be sure to check it out.

After transferring, we took the monorail through to Oikeibajo-Mae Station, and took some photos.

Whilst taking the photos at this station, it occurred to me that I'd been to this area before! We were in search of a flea market at the horse race course back then, and I somehow managed to see Dr Yellow snoozing in the shed. Turns out this time around Dr Yellow was in the same position!

To be able to photograph Dr Yellow, we had to cross the bridge that traverses the freight yard, and while doing so, we thought we were also making our way to the entrance of the open-day. It wasn't until we'd crossed the entire bridge/yard that we were told by an official that we were at the absolute wrong end! This was the middle, or northern, end and the entrance to the open day was at the very sourthern end. We therefore started our long trek along the entire length of the freight yard. I must admit, with around 40 other people who'd made the same mistake.

As we were walking south, down the western side of the yard, we saw the entrance queue approaching us. A staff member was guiding everyone along the fence (towards us?) to get the queue to line up and loop back. As we intersected, he simply inserted us in. If we'd come from the other side then we would've been around 2000 people back in the queue... but instead, in absolute non-japanese style, we queue jumped! It was so bloody hot already (~9:45am) that I was a little happy to be able to not wait in the sun.

The queue kept going... and going... and after the left turn... it kept going... but luckily on this corner there was something cool to check out...

The freight yard actually has multi-storey truck unloading facilities. That green-cab truck above did 4 laps of the entry spiral before getting to its unloading bay. Crazy.

Before long we were into the festival and melting in the Tokyo sun!

First up, if you'd booked, there was a chance to ride in a YO8000 guard's van behind an HD300. The shuttle ran all the way down to the end of the yard and back.

We hadn't planned for that and there were no tickets available on the day, so we just watched it loiter along the rails... orderly... with everyone else. The respect and patience of everyone in the crowd was starting to show: people queued behind eachother to get the right shot!

Next up... containers... and more containers...

And tank-tainers with consist documents...

And, of course, the Super Rail Cargo. Up close!

There were also random stalls for merchandise, and one with a mini flea market!

I picked up some sad HO vehicles for a buck each.

The SRC had Super Rail liveried JR containers on it ... but it turns out these are remnants of when they were building and commissioning the consist.

They loaded these up with weight to test the capabilities of the train.

At the far end, the SRC was lined up next to the fleet of current Tokaido freight locomotives.

And, of course, the HD300 was rolling in every now and then, providing an even greater line-up.

The locos also had commemorative headmarks for the day... being the 50th anniversary.

Well, ok, not all... the EF210 had the Super Liner instead.

Meanwhile, the second Dr Yellow consist was loitering in the background, but a staff member was shoo-ing people away who were trying to take photos... "today is about freight", he kept yelling!

Containers, more containers, how to move containers... you could even jump in the forklift.

Ride-on trains!

Tiny trains.

Fukuyama Rail Express represented.

And then, even a cute vintage bus that you could ride on.

More containers...

And then a training course for children who wish to derail trains:

On the way out... something caught my eye.... could they be the fateful brown onions that I'd been searching for?

Turns out that, although they were indeed brown onions, they weren't from Engaru. Instead, they were from Saga in Kyushu. Interestingly, the staff were giving everyone a bag!

On the way home, we ended up on a pedestrian bridge near Nippori Station, with a bunch of other gunzels. Many trains were seen...

All very Tokyo... but nothing as Tokyo as:

Just like the old JR West's Twilight Express, the Cassiopeia was a high-end night train from Tokyo to Sapporo by JR East. Now relegated to tour trains, as this train one was. Anyway, back to Tokyo... a day can't be spent without a trip to Ochanomizu.

Especially if you're nearby in Akihabara. Remind me to wear sunscreen next time.

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