Japan's New Luxury Train Redefines Travelling in Style
Hit the rails complete with on-board fireplaces, front and rear glass-walled observatory cars, and a seasonal menu that changes to reflect the region you're passing through.
Travelling across Japan via train is a bucket list experience: everyone wants to do it, and for good reason. There's nothing like taking in the country via locomotive, but if you haven't hit their railways yet, you might want to update your plans. You might want to start saving too.
The Train Suite Shiki-shima is the type of train that would make all other vehicles quiver with jealousy if we were living in a certain popular children's cartoon series or a car-focused Pixar franchise. Forget whatever glamorous locomotive setups you've seen in old movies — they've got nothing on this. It was designed by man also responsible for luxury cars such as the Ferrari Enzo, the Porsche AG and the Maserati Quattroporte, after all.
Venturing between Tokyo and Hokkaido, the ten-car train can accommodate 24 passengers in its 17 opulent suites, with some rooms decked out with baths and fireplaces. Other features include front and rear glass-walled observatory cars, a lounge with a piano, and a dining room. In the latter, the seasonal ingredients cooked up — from a menu by a Michelin-starred chef — change according to the region the train is passing through.
In good news, the Shiki-shima is has been riding the rails since May 1, with one-, two- and three-night journeys available. In not-so-good news, due to demand, applications have already closed for trips up until March 2018. When bookings are accepted again, they'll set you back between 450,000 and 1,050,000 yen — or between AU$5,500 and $13,000 — but doesn't it just look and sound worth it?
Published on May 14, 2017 by Sarah Ward