Japan already boasts some of the world’s fastest trains. But soon Japanese trains might become synonymous with speed and luxury. Shiki-shima, which means “Island of Four Seasons,” is a new 10-car sleeper train operated by JR East and it took its first trip yesterday.
Shiki-shima can host up to 34 passengers from Tokyo to the northern Tohoku region, as well as the island of Hokkaido, for one to three nights. The extravagant train features a “champagne-gold exterior, opulent suites, Michelin-starred chefs” along with “futuristic observation cars, lacquerware latticework and, in one suite, an aromatic cypress wood bath,” reports The Telegraph.
Unfortunately, it’s not as fast as it is beautiful: it travels at just under 70 mph. It also costs nearly $3,000 per person. Nevertheless, Shiki-shima is sold out until March 2018.
That’s probably because Shiki-shima has the best of the best that luxury trains can offer. We are talking a motor that can be used on both electric and diesel engine trains, Herringbone wood floors, a glass fireplace, and if you’re in one of the top two suites, expect a pair of custom Swarovski crystal binoculars.
There’s even something Harry Potter fans will love: the train’s entrance is on Platform 13.5, similar to the famous, albeit fictional, Platform 9¾.
“The designer wanted to create something totally new for trains that does not exist anywhere else in the world. That was the basis for this concept. The exterior is futuristic, the interior is Japan,” Tasuku Hiramatsu, deputy manager at JR East, told The Telegraph.