Lonely Planet Writer

A luxury hotel on tracks: Japan to get two new trains giving a high end travelling experience

Japan‘s rail travel will hit new heights of luxury next year with the launch of new cruise trains by JR East and JR West. The demand for both routes is expected to outstrip supply as the rail cars compare favourably with the luxury of top class hotels.

The train will run through unspoiled West Japan.

Twilight Express Mizukaze will run through the unspoiled landscape of West Japan. The trips will embark from Kyoto, Osaka and Shimonoseki and will be ten-cars long. Included on the Express are six sleeper cars, two sightseeing carriages, a dining car and a lounge car.

The train will have 17 lavish rooms or carriages
The train will have 17 lavish rooms or carriages

The train will have a capacity of 30 passengers. Top-class chefs will oversee the exclusive menus showcasing a variety of ingredients from along the route. All will be prepared from fresh produce while on board. Mizutake passengers will be able to savour as well as gain a deeper appreciation of washoku and other cuisine from the region through the specially designed menus.

A bath made of Japanese cypress will be in the highest grade suite

The other luxury train, JR East, ‘Train Suite Shiki-Shima’ will offer luxury trips from Tokyo’s Ueno station through Tohoku and up into Hokkaido. It will showcase a unique view of Japan’s beautiful natural scenery as well as the local foods, arts and crafts of each region. Passengers will be able to disembark from the train to explore areas along the route. This train will also comprise ten cars, with four being dedicated to dining lounge, and viewing areas.

The train will launch in 2017
The train will launch in 2017

It will have no more than 34 passengers for the 17 luxurious rooms in the six sleeping cars.  A bath in the top-grade suite will be made of Japanese cypress. For the four day/three night and two day/one night train cruises will start from just under St£2,000. Shiki-shima will begin operations next May.