Lonely Planet Writer

Japan’s new luxury sleeper train will have you travelling in style – for a few thousand dollars

A new luxury train in Japan will show off the beauty of the country from window-filled observatory cars where travellers can relax and take in the scenery – for costs starting at nearly US$3000. Shiki-Shima, a train operated by East Japan Railway, can accommodate up to 34 passengers in its ten cars, which includes a lounge car, a dining car and two observatory cars.

An observatory car of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima.
An observatory car of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images

All of the cabins, of which there are 17, are suites, and prices range from Y320,500 to Y950,000 (US$2856 to US$8480) per person when shared by two people.

A crew member introduces the Shiki-Shima Suite of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima.
A crew member introduces the Shiki-Shima Suite of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images

And while that’s a high price for a train ride, the suites are two-stories and each cabin has its own shower and bathroom. The observatory cabins include massive windows, which will give people a chance to look out on the country as they travel along.

Entrance of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima, operated by East Japan Railway, in Tokyo.
Entrance of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima, operated by East Japan Railway, in Tokyo. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Journeys start at Ueno Station in Tokyo and itineraries range from four-day/three-night trips to shorter journeys. But, there has been so much interest in taking one of the trips, that the company has created a lottery system for eager travellers to get tickets.

The bathroom of the Shiki-Shima Suite of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima.
The bathroom of the Shiki-Shima Suite of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Thankfully, this isn’t Japan’s only new luxury train offering. The Twilight Express will start a number of tours in Japan this summer, giving anyone looking for a relaxing and high-end train journey no shortage of choice.