The itinerary: Gourmet trains in Japan

Posted Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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In Japan, it’s dining cars, plural

Gourmet sightseeing trains that run on local lines across Japan are a hot trend, allowing passengers to go sightseeing while dining on authentic dishes using locally produced ingredients. As many of them operate only on weekends or limited schedules, seats are sometimes very difficult to reserve. Shikoku Railway Co. began operating the Iyonada Monogatari sightseeing train in July — joining the Kitakinki Tango Railway Co., which began operating the Tango Kuromatsu train two months earlier. Until Aug. 30, the Ohmi Railway Corp. in eastern Shiga Prefecture runs the Ohmi Biaden-Hoshizora Nama Biru Go (Ohmi beer train-starry sky draft beer) train, serving passengers frozen beer.

— The Associated Press

Paris has lock on love

Paris hopes to persuade couples to end the unwelcome recent tradition of fixing padlocks to the Seine River’s aging bridges, and instead upload hashtagged selfies to a website dedicated to enduring love. With giant stickers in French, English and Spanish on the Pont de l’Archeveche, behind Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris began its #lovewithoutlocks campaign this month, saying the city’s famed bridges “can’t resist your love” — meaning the weight of the padlocks that cling to every available surface are pulling the bridge railings down. The lovers’ locks craze dates back about a decade.

— The Associated Press

Deal: Celebrate the canal

The Waldorf Astoria Panama is offering a Panama Canal Package to commemorate the canal’s 100th anniversary. Starting at $380 for two travelers (plus 10 percent tax), the deal includes accommodations at the upscale Panama City hotel, breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi (normally $15) and a five-hour Panama Canal transit tour (normally about $135 each), with transportation to and from the Miraflores Visitor Center. In addition, dine at one of the on-site restaurants and receive a free Bishop cocktail. Two-night minimum required. Book and stay by Dec. 31. Info: 800-WALDORF,

— The Washington Post

Fun fact

Beachfront property … in Thailand

Experiencing a dramatic surge in tourism, Thailand has surpassed the United States in the number of hotels truly set on its beaches, according to a survey of more than 11,000 hotels in 109 countries by the Beachfront Club, a website that maps and details seaside hotels around the world. The Southeast Asian country ranked first with more than 1,250 beachfront properties, followed by the United States with 1,016 and Mexico with 943. Spain, with 736, ranked fourth — trailed by the Philippines, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Sri Lanka.

— The Associated Press

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