The price starting at 370,000 yen per person could seem high for a train journey, but this luxury sleeper train is quite a leap over other locomotives you encounter.
JR East’s Train Suite Shiki-Shima is a scenic sleeper train that takes passengers for multiple days of journeys around the most beautiful places in Japan, including the wineries in Nagano or the investigation of Ainu culture heritage in Hokkaido.
A total of 34 passengers can get into the trip once. The luxury train consists of nine cars in total. Five of the cars are modified into sleeping cars, two are converted into a futuristic observation deck and a single lounge and eating car. These trains leave from Tokyo’s Ueno Station.
There’s a lot you can experience on these luxurious journeys, even though the train itself has plenty of delights for the eyes. First, you can sit for hours gazing at the scene through the windows of observation cars located at the top or tail ends of trains.
In the case of sleeper cars, every suite comes with a private shower and toilet. There are even hinoki cypress bathtubs that you can soak in while you drive through Japan’s most beautiful landscapes.
If you opt to book an all-inclusive trip of three nights in Hokkaido, the typical day on the Shiki-Shima may begin with getting up to a breakfast consisting of Hakodate Ikura (Salmon Roe) and squid poured over rice.
Then, you’ll be off to Hakodate Station for an exclusive tram ride through the town. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy an exquisite French menu featuring fresh ingredients from the region, prepared with chef Yuya Sekikawa. Then, you take a trip around the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park.
A two-day, one-night trip within Nagano (double rooms starting at 370,000 yen per person) will be available from June through September. On the other hand, the three-night, four-day trip to Hokkaido (double rooms starting at ¥800,000 per person) will be available from April to November.
Be sure to reserve your seats before January of 2022 ends on JR East’s Official website, and even if you are willing to spend that amount, you might not exactly get the seats if the bookings exceed the capacity. JR East will conduct a lottery to determine the passengers if the reservations exceed capacity.
Source: Time Out