At a time where locals are reeling from our pricey and sub-standard public transport system, Japan has gone off and shown the way. The way to truly exorbitant train rides that is.
Step inside JR East’s latest Shiki-Shima luxury sleeper, a train which recently completed its maiden voyage in style and sheer opulence. The train operated by East Japan Railway pulls ten carriages in total and includes spacious two-storey suite carriages, two observatory carriages and a lounge and dining room carriage.
Needless to say the Shiki-Shima is more five star hotel on rails than the odd smelling sardine can on rails. The most expensive passenger suite known as the premium ‘3D2N’ goes for a modest price of US$9,300 whilst those on a budget can sit it out in cattle class for a measly US$4,300. What you’re paying for at the pointy end of the carriage is a fully equipped bar, slick interior design and bathtubs made from cyprus trees.
Those after something exclusive will also be glad to hear that the trip only takes up to 34 passengers at a time from Tokyo to the northern island of Hokkaido.
On the design front the Shiki-Shima looks as good as it goes and that’s thanks to the head designer, Ken Okuyama, the man responsible for penning the Enzo Ferrari as well as the new generation Porsche 911 (996).
Those hoping to catch this train on their next trip are out of luck though. Shiki-Shima is completely booked out until March 2018 so that means it’s back to the smelly sardine can on wheels for now. Or just roll into the ten coolest hotels that can only be found in Japan.