This Tourist Train in Japan Is Fueled By Salvaged Ramen Broth

Japan is a bucket-list destination for many train enthusiasts and home to some of the fastest, most high-tech, luxurious trains in the world. One of the country’s most delightful rail trips isn’t known for its speed or accommodations, but rather for its thrifty — and tasty — fuel source. The Amaterasu Railway is a quirky tourist train that runs on ramen broth that’s salvaged from local restaurants. A company called Nishida Logistics extracts pork fat from the stock and refines it. It is then mixed with old oils used to fried foods, and the final formula consists of 90% cooking oil and 10% ramen broth lard. The biodiesel is strong enough to power the fully-loaded Amaterasu train cars uphill, and it’s cost is comparable to fossil fuels. In addition to making use of restaurant leftovers, the fuel has a savory aroma that most passengers prefer to diesel fumes. The hot-pink cars take passengers on a 30-minute tour of the scenic town of Takachiho. As tourists soak in the mountain views, the conductor blows bubbles from the locomotive. The scent of pork soup mixed with the mountain air is just another quirk that comes with the ticket price.