Friday, May 5, 2017

The World's Most Expensive Train Ride Opens in Japan

By Asia Pop Culture

The world's most expensive luxury train began commercial operations in Japan on May 1 in Japan.  Although A ticket costs from $2,860 to $10,000, depending on the itinerary.  Tickets for the inaugural run were immediately sold out and bookings have been sold out until March 2018.

This Four Seasons on train is called "Train Suite Shiki-shima" and is operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Shiki-shima means "Island of Four Seasons."  This specially built deluxe train consists of six sleeping cars; a lounge car; a dining car and observation cars at either end of the train.

All sleeping car suites have a shower and toilet. The two deluxe class suites each have a bathtub. The entire train accommodates only 34 passengers. Service on board is by uniformed butlers. The dining car menu changes to reflect the ingredients and culinary style of the regions the train is passing.

The train interiors were designed by the world famous Japanese designer Ken Okuyama, who designed for Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati.  Okuyama brought that same sleek style to two glass-walled observatory cars that bookend the train so the passengers may enjoy uninterrupted views of eastern Japan's forests, fields and coastline.  The train lounge has its own piano bar with walls and windows designed to evoke "a quiet forest."

Observatory car with plush carpet and uninterrupted views to beautiful Japan countryside

 A new Harry Potter-style Platform 13 1/2 has been built at Tokyo's Ueno Station for Train Suite Shiki-Shima's exclusive use.  Train Suite Shiki-shima currently operates on two-day and four-day circular tours from spring to autumn, and on three-day tours during the winter period.

A Harry Potter style platform 13 1/2 has been built between Tokyo's Ueno Station between platforms 13 & 14 

Due to the popularity of the new service, those who want a ticket to ride need to fill out an application rather than simply purchase a fare. The lucky few are then selected by lottery. NHK World reports that only one out of every 76 applicants was able to get a place on the train's first trip this week.

© Asia Pop Culture All Rights Reserved | Facebook | Tumblr | Email Digest