Nobody does train travel like Japan – but this luxury sleeper train is setting an entirely new standard for first-class travel.
While hopping on the bullet train in Japan is fast, efficient and impossibly clean, JR East’s Train Suite Shiki-shima is also one of the most incredible ways to sightsee.
It takes guests to see the most beautiful places in the country, but you have to fork out big time for it.
Departing from Tokyo’s Ueno Station to a fanfare that seems like it’s from a bygone era, the onboarding process is seamless.
From there, guests embark on a two-four day trip to get a taste of the wineries of Yamanashi, or capture a glimpse of ancient Ainu culture in Hokkaido.
It looks like a golden futuristic concept car that somehow made it into production.
The best views are from the stunning observatory cars on either end of the train, with panoramic windows that even open up the view of the sky via the ceiling.
According to Solo Travel Journal’s YouTube channel, the train travels at remarkably slow speeds.
It’s a refreshing pace if you’ve just stepped off one of Japan’s iconic bullet trains.
Its goal is to ensure passengers a ‘comfortable ride’ as well as the opportunity to take in the views.
So what exactly makes this train so spectacular?
Each of the five sleeper train suites has its own fireplace and a cypress bathtub meaning guests can soak in the scenery.
The deluxe rooms also feature “art in motion”.
They combine traditional Japanese patterns and wood with Japanese washi paper, lacquers and stones.
The result is modern, yet classical sophistication.
“Traditional crafts and pieces of artwork from eastern Japan are also applied to interior furniture and fittings.
“This warm craftsmanship brings about a peace of mind, making one feel completely relaxed,” says the website.
Hungry? Head to the sleeper train’s chandeliered dining car where you can drink and eat as much of the exquisite food as you want.
So, what does an experience like this cost?
Prices start at $3000 (¥370,000) per person and go up from there.
Applications are now being accepted for 2024 voyages here.