Lonely Planet Writer

Japan’s beautiful Twilight Express Mizukaze sleeper train is running this June

A stunning sleeper train called the Twilight Express is due to begin a series of tours in Japan this June, with tickets for the experience proving to be an extremely sought-after commodity.

Twilight Express Mizukaze
One car houses a luxury suite complete with a private balcony, dining room and bedroom. Image by JR West

With the name that translates into English as “joyous wind”, the Twilight Express Mizukaze offers stunning views of the Japanese landscape, passing through the picturesque areas of Kyoto, Matsue, Izumo and Miyajima, as well as the Sea of Japan, Mount Daisen and the Seto Inland Sea islands. It offers five routes, with one-way trips lasting one night and two days and a circular tour around the Sanyo and Sanin areas lasting two nights and three days. Each route has one sightseeing stop per day.

Twilight Express Mizukaze
The train has been designed to be modern yet classic. Image by JR West

The train is powered by a hybrid system that merges diesel and generated electrical power with battery assistance. A selection of compartments are available on-board that offer single rooms and twin rooms, while a decadent suite with a private balcony, dining room, bedroom and bathroom is available in one car. Two observation cars are placed at either end of the train for taking in views of the surrounding regions.  

Twilight Express Mizukaze
The train houses two observation cars at either end. Image by JR West
Twilight Express Mizukaze
Tickets for the experience are currently only available in Japan. Image by JR West

The train also includes a comfortable dining car offering a range of cuisines from experienced chefs Yoshihiro Murata and Hajime Yoneda. A lounge car with a counter and tables allows for tea ceremonies and evening drinks, with an interior that features warm wood and warm lighting.

Twilight Express Mizukaze
An on-board dining car offers guests the chance to sample cuisine from experienced chefs. Image by JR West

Tickets for the train can only be purchased in Japan, and there is currently a limitation on availability, with a lottery in place for allocation. Tickets range from 270,000 Yen (approximately $2400) to 1.15 million Yen (approximately $11,000). More information on the journey is available at the Twilight Express website.
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