Touching ad may make you tear up next time you book a ticket.

Central Japan Railway, also known as JR Tokai, has made many changes to the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train that may have left some frustrated–come on, no more snack sales?–but they’ve won many back with a touching video. Central Japan Railway’s recently released holiday-themed commercial has Japanese netizens buzzing about how heartwarming it is.

▼ Though the audio is only in Japanese, the sentiments don’t really require much translation.

The two-and-a-half minute ad follows a Japanese man’s journey through his Christmas and New Year’s holidays, a time when hundreds of thousands of Japanese people travel via Shinkansen to see their families.

▼ The main character smiles to himself as he looks at the present in his bag.

The ad starts from a third-person perspective, viewing the main character riding the Shinkansen, but as he reaches his stop, it changes to a first-person point of view, switching between different people’s experiences of leaving a JR station to meet their family members and loved ones.

▼ Some families gather together in one cozy room, oftentimes meeting for the first time in months.

▼ For many Japanese people who left their hometown, it’s also a rare chance to meet up with childhood friends.

The ad also includes smartphone video clips taken of various reunions–friends meeting friends, fathers returning from work trips, grandparents meeting grandchildren, and so much more. The ad’s slogan at the end reads “So that everyone can meet those they miss,” bringing the message home–no pun intended.

▼ And it’s all thanks to this guy.

Japanese netizens enjoy the commercial almost as much as we do:

“I watch this about 20 times a day. It’s beautiful from start to finish. It makes me feel how precious it is to have someone to miss.”
“This commercial made me feel that even though the Shinkansen is just a piece of machinery, it carries so many people all with their own stories and feelings. It makes me imagine everyone’s stories as I watch the trains depart.”
“Wow. This made me cry so much. Just, wow. Another example of Central Japan Railway’s excellence.”

Japanese viewers also love this ad because some suspect it contains an Easter egg to a series of Central Japan Railway ads titled “Xmas Express” that aired between 1988 and 1992, with the 1988 ad featuring a lead female character played by actress Eri Fukatsu.

▼ Here’s a collection of the ads in reference.

At the end of the 2023 Central Japan Railway ad, the main character finally meets up with the supposed gift receiver. Though we can only see her silhouette, many claim the woman looks similar to Eri Fukatsu’s character in the 1988 ad.

We may never get official confirmation on that, but what we can confirm is that this ad is a tear-jerker. Whether you need a good cry or you want a glimpse into the long-awaited New Year’s holidays in Japan, watch the full ad for the full effect!

Source: Net Lab
Images: YouTube/Central Japan Railway Shinkansen
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!