Last Updated on June 7, 2022 by Pets Feed
For the first time, 21 furry friends were allowed to travel freely in a special pet car on Saturday as part of a Japan Railways (JR) trial.
Dogs generally have to travel in a carrier when traveling on high-speed trains that cross the country.
However, pet ownership is big business in Japan and the demand for easier travel for pets is on the rise.
Their owners – sitting in plastic-covered seats – relaxed with their dogs, instead of having to worry about being distressed or uncomfortable.
“He always has to stay in an aircraft carrier when he travels, so we check him regularly,” Yoko Okubo told AFP news agency, while traveling with her Corgi.
“Today we don’t need to do that and we can see his face. We can travel more comfortably that way.”
The cat and dog-dominated sector is expected to reach 1.7 trillion yen ($13.2bn; £10.6bn) in 2022, according to Statistics.
As you stroll through Tokyo, you may lose count of the many shops dedicated to pet accessories such as diamond-encrusted collars and luxury-brand dog strollers. In the shop windows fluffy puppies jump, the price of which is often several thousand dollars.
So, for some pet owners, keeping their beloved pooches in a small carrier bag – which can’t weigh more than 10kg in total – seems cruel.
“We travel together a lot, but in the past I felt bad about keeping my dog in a crate,” said Yukari Seino, traveling with her Chihuahua Chobi.
“Today we don’t feel stressed. Traveling on the high-speed train is usually not much fun and we get bored. But today is really fun.”
🇯🇵On Japan's bullet trains, dogs usually have to travel in a carrier, but on Saturday they could stretch their paws and enjoy the scenery on a special pet-friendly express— Natsuko Fukue (@natfukue) May 21, 2022
My story https://t.co/NEO60nNo2n @AFP
📸 @BEHROUZZZZ pic.twitter.com/4fYddDgEuu
Japan Railways launched the trial after customers demanded more relaxed ways to travel with their pets, and the company said it plans to run more pet-friendly trips in the future.
The Shinkansen bullet trains – top speed 320 km/h (198 mph) – are renowned for their impeccable cleanliness as well as their speed and efficiency.
Along with the plastic-covered seats, staff also installed air purifiers in the car and said it would be cleaned later to remove all traces of dog hair.
Images: Facebook / CGTN America