Japan’s newest luxurious Shiki-Shima train has hot tubs, fireplaces and even an onboard pianist

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Japan launched an all-new luxury train service last month but you won’t be able to experience it for quite some time. All seats aboard the Train Suite Shiki-Shima service between Tokyo and Hokkaido are sold out — through March 2018.

Fares on the deluxe train range between $2,200 and $10,000 but, with the service launching by East Japan Railway (JR East) just weeks ago, it’s already sold out through to March 2018.


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Those who managed to nab tickets had to do so through a lottery. According to NHK News, “only one out of 76 applicants was able to get tickets for the first trip”.

The much-anticipated service is meant to bring back the golden age of train travel: The Shiki-Shima has 10 coaches with 17 suites available. It can accommodate a maximum of 34 passengers at a time.

The train is the brainchild of Ken Okuyama, who also designed luxury cars like the Ferrari Enzo, the Porsche AG and the Maserati Quattroporte.

Onboard, passengers experience surprise luxury details like glass-enclosed observation cars, a piano bar and fireplaces. Some suites have lofts or Hinoka soaking bathtubs. There are glass observation cars that evoke a “quiet forest” and a device onboard to “minimize swaying.”

The luxury touches extend to the dining car, too. As the train passes through different regions, the menu onboard will change to reflect the different specialities of each region. Renowned chefs who work along the train’s route will either serve a meal aboard or host passengers in their restaurants.

Oh, and the train’s got its own theme song, too.



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