Rail-mad Japanese marry aboard Tokyo commuter train

Often overflowing with passengers, the famous Yamanote Line makes way for a special event.

Newlyweds Nobuhiko Suzuki and Sayaka Tsuchiya celebrate in car No. 6. Group photo

Do you have a dream location to exchange wedding vows with your beloved? A romantic beach, place of worship, or maybe a Las Vegas chapel?

How about one of the world's busiest commuter trains?

That's what a Japanese couple did recently when they took the plunge aboard the Yamanote Line, a loop railway that carries more than 3 million passengers around central Tokyo every day.

Like a mechanical artery pumping humanity through the Japanese capital, the 29-station Yamanote can be so packed that passengers can't move an inch.

But that didn't bother newlyweds Nobuhiko Suzuki, 27, and Sayaka Tsuchiya, 28, because they were lucky enough to get their own train, courtesy of East Japan Railway.

The operator held a contest to organize a wedding aboard the Yamanote, which is celebrating the 50th year of its distinctive lime-green livery. While the line itself was launched in 1903, the loop was only completed in 1925.

The couple was chosen because of their story. When they were dating, they would meet aboard car No. 6 on Yamanote services while commuting to work at Shinbashi Station.

Their nuptials were held in car No. 6 of the chartered train in the presence of 150 applauding guests.

Yamanote Line train
The special Yamanote Wedding Train departed amid fanfare and cheers. (Click to enlarge.) East Japan Railway

"I want to cherish the bonds with the family and friends that we have confirmed during the preparations," Suzuki was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

Departing from Ikebukuro Station for a loop around the capital, the train was decorated with photos of the happy couple while video screens above the doors played a reenactment of the marriage proposal.

Wedding ceremonies have been held on trains before in Japan, but this was the first time the venerable Yamanote hosted such an event.

The loop line goes to the most important hubs in the capital, including Tokyo Station, Ueno, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. Tickets cost less than $2, making it one of the best options for getting around.

The special all-green Yamanote will continue to snake its way around Tokyo to mark the anniversary.

 

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