Travel in luxury on Japan’s Train Suite Shikishima – JR East unveils a Luxury Sleeper Train designed by Ferrari Designer Ken Okuyama
It has been almost 4 years since the announcement that JR East (East Japan Railway Company) was investing 5 billion yen – nearly US$44.4 million – to create a luxury sleeper train. Recently, that train was unveiled at a ceremony in Tokyo. Dubbed the Train Suite Shikishima, it was designed by Ken Okuyama, a Japanese industrial designer and the only non-Italian to have ever designed a Ferrari.
Okuyama incorporated wood and washi paper into the interiors to create the luxurious sleeper train – which began operations on May 2017. But with a maximum capacity of 34, the exclusive cars come at a price. The sleeper train is made of 10 custom-designed cars including two glass-walled observatory cars, a shared lounge car, a dining car, and six private suite cars.
There is a high-end, 2-floor suite with a private onsen bath and heated kotatsu table to keep travelers warm as they speed through the landscape. The white-and-wood lounge car features sculptural walls meant to resemble trees in a forest. The dining car feels slightly retro with geometric paneling and crisp white table linens. A 3-night 4-day journey through Japan costs 950,000 yen (about $8000) per person. With rooms fully booked for 6 months out from opening date.
Perhaps in the magical spirit of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express, the Train Suite Shikishima will have its own dedicated “platform 13.5 ” at Ueno Station in Tokyo.
If you want to learn more you can visit the website where there’s contact information and numbers to call to make reservations. There is also a sales office at the Tokyo Station.
The sleeper train offers various packages depending on the season and below is a map of two of them. On the left is the Spring – Fall 3-night package that begins in Ueno and makes a large loop up North extending all the way to Hokkaido. On the right is a shorter Spring – Fall 1-night package that begins in Ueno and makes a central loop through Aizu Wakamatsu.
“Do not go where the path leads, travel instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” @wbbrjp