Booze Cruising on the Toyohashi Noryo Beer Tram 2023

ByBert Wishart
Aug 30, 2023

Booze Cruising on the Toyohashi Noryo Beer Tram 2023

Of the fact that Japan likes to have a drink or two, there can be no doubt. This is the land of sake, ice cold Asahi, and numerous post-work highballs. It is a country where you can enjoy nomihoudai [all-you-can-drink] menus at almost every izakaya restaurant and then, at any time of the day or night, purchase a pick-me-up from the convenience store and drink it on the street and no one bats an eyelid. You can even have a tipple on the shinkansen bullet train, sold from trolleys right there on the train.

You can even get drunk on a tram. Yes, on a tram.

For 30 years The Noryo Beer Tram has been a common summer sight in the Aichi city of Toyohashi, just one hour outside of Nagoya. ‘Noryo’ means ‘enjoying the refreshment of the evening’, a word most readily associated with the twilight of hot summer days. And I think you can agree that this has been a particularly hot summer, and even as we slide into September, it is showing no sign of letting up.

Getting Trollied on the Trolly

Toyohashi City is one of only 17 cities across Japan with an operational streetcar service, and at 10 trams per hour, the Toyohashi Rail Road company (Toyotetsu), is one of the busiest in the country.

However, the Noryo Tram is something a little different from your run of the mill tram line. For a start, it is decked out in fairy lights and glitter from gaudy top to flashy bottom, and there is a huge glass of beer on the side. Public transport this is very much not.

As everyone piles on board, glasses of beer (other drinks are available) are immediately dished out, and bento box meals await you on tables that run through the center of the tram.

A Beer Garden on the Tracks

The streetcar itself is decked out to look like a beer garden, with summery decorations everywhere, and for the next 80 minutes – as you travel from Toyohashi Station to Undokoen-Mae and back again – the drinks flow non-stop, thanks to the aforementioned nomihoudai. (Though be warned that there is no toilet on board and only one bathroom break at Undokoen-Mae, so tempering your drinking to your bladder size is advisable).

This being a very Japanese party there is of course a karaoke machine featuring some 35,000 songs including many of the international big hits.

August 18 until September 17, 2023 will see the arrival of the ‘Premium Flight’ service, which includes in addition to the bento an original snack set that stars a Black Thunder Anmaki, a combination of an-maki, a popular Aichi snack of red bean paste wrapped in a pancake-like dough, and Black Thunder, the famous chocolate bar from Toyohashi.

In addition, if you feel that this is not enough to slake your hunger, additional dishes can be pre-ordered. These include a deep-fried chikawa [fish cake] set, a ham selection confusingly called ‘Sandwich Moment’ (there does not seem to be any bread involved), and it is even possible to arrange to pick up pizza on the way round. Also, the bringing of your own snacks is permissible, though all of these options should be confirmed at the time of booking.

Toyohashi Noryo “Premium Flight” Beer Tram Details

Where: Ekimae Station, Nishijuku Hanadacho, Toyohashi, Aichi 440-0075 (map)
When: Until September 17, 2023
Tel: Reservations: 0532-53-2135 Weekdays from 8:50 to 17:40; Enquiries: 0532-61-5771
Price: Individual Guests: Adults 6,000 JPY;
Charter trams: Up to 24 guests: 144,000 JPY.

The Noryo Beer Tram is extremely popular, and as such reservations are essential.

Images: by Mark Guthrie
Image: via

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.