Lonely Planet Writer

Japan's new tourist train has replaced most of the walls with windows for that perfect view

Few things are as relaxing as a scenic train journey, but nobody likes to get the tricky seat between the windows. A new Japanese sight-seeing train has the solution; to remove as many of the walls as possible and replace them with windows.

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Image by Ichibansen/nextstations

The tourist train has been designed especially by Ichibansen/nextstations company to allow tourists to enjoy the stunning panoramic views as much as possible. The train – dubbed the Echigo TOKImeki Resort Setsugekka’ – runs through the western part of the Niigata Prefecture.

Image by
Image by Ichibansen/nextstations

The area is famous for its skiing destinations and national parks. It also has some of the highest snowfalls of the country, allowing passengers to enjoy the snow-capped peaks of Mount Myoko.

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Image by Ichibansen/nextstations

The tourist train contains just 45 seats and two carriages. The front carriage is dedicated to taking in those amazing views with sixties-inspired decor, while diners can enjoy a French restaurant in the second coach, featuring local produce and sake.

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Image by Ichibansen/nextstations

Additionally, there’s a special viewing compartment that holds just four people right behind the driver. The driver’s compartment is also made of glass so true train aficionados can enjoy the scenery while getting a glimpse at the mechanics of rail travel. While sleeper trains in Europe are coming to a standstill, Japan is experiencing a boom in rail travel, particularly in the luxury market where rail cars are more like top hotels. This new service is a mid-range alternative to tap into the appetite for rail travel.