Train Vert is the JR East Shinkansen travel magazine, which introduces aspects of the culinary culture and natural environment of East Japan. "Train Vert" means "green train" in French.

This month's Train Vert

100 years leading up to the Meiji era—the end of Japan's seclusion started in the north

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150 years ago, after the country was opened up by the signing of a trade treaty with the Western powers, Japan reformed from a feudal nation controlled by the samurai to a modern state. In the previous Edo period, the Japanese government had pursued a policy of seclusion, during which it had only traded with the Netherlands and China, and only via the island of Dejima in Nagasaki Prefecture at the western tip of Japan. However, trading was also taking place with ships from the Russian Empire in Hokkaido, at the very northern end of the Japanese archipelago—thus, it could be argued that Japan's path to more open borders started here. We take a northern perspective on the opening up of Japan’s national seclusion.

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Part1

The Russian Empire, closing in upon Japan
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Part2

The diplomacy of "drifters" that saved Japan
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Part3

The eve of the opening of the northern lands

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Train Vert magazine has pages offering sightseeing information to tourists from overseas. Please be sure to check out this section in the second half of the magazine.