Japanese Train Suite Shiki-Shima is So Luxe it Requires an Application to Ride

japanses-train-2
train suite shiki shima journey to japan banner small

Recently, the East Japan Railway Co. introduced the Train Suite Shiki-Shima, a new 10-car train offering passengers an unrivaled, two to four-day cruise-like experience through Japan’s scenic eastern countryside. How luxurious is this 34-person train, you ask? Tickets, which require an application process, are only available via lottery and start at $3,000 dollars per person — and run as high as $10,000.

The train features 17 suites spread out across six cars, each with lofts and wooden baths. The lounge car is home to a lively piano bar, but perhaps the train’s greatest highlight (besides, of course, its own theme song by noted composer Naoki Sato), is the dining car and overall culinary experience. As the train moves across eastern Japan, the menu shifts to reflect the culinary traditions and ingredients of whatever region the train is passing through. This is accomplished by working closely with chefs along the route, serving passengers either on the train or at points of disembarkation.

At either end of the train are enclosed, glass observation cars boasting panoramic views of the gorgeous Japanese countryside. Most trips are timed to coincide with seasonal shifts and are often done in line with the area’s traditional festivals, ensuring not only a luxurious experience, but a culturally stimulating one as well. Even the train’s windows are designed to evoke the feeling of a “quiet forest.” Customers also have the option of meeting with the staff before the trip to customize the journey to their specific needs.

The high-end experience is not limited to your time on the train. The journey, which begins from Platform 13 ½ (built specifically for the train) at the Ueno Station in Tokyo, gives waiting guests access to a private lounge. Passengers receive a limousine ride to and from the airport, as well as complimentary luggage service between their homes or hotels and their rooms on the train — and did I already mention that the train has panoramic glass observation cars and its own theme song?

Pretty awesome.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of The Manual’s larger Journey to Japan travel guide. Over the course of a month, our writers had the pleasure of experiencing Japan in its many forms, from high-rise bars in Tokyo to traditional tea-ceremonies in Kyoto. We hope this series of articles will not only inform, but inspire you to take your own trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Auto

The Supercar Owners Circle Is the World’s Most Elite Car Club

Owning just a handful of supercars won't get you in. You'll need a full stable.
Travel

7 Most Over-the-Top New Year’s Eve Experiences to Ring in 2019

Champagne? Check. Music? Check. Over-the-top festivities? Check.
Food & Drink

The Best Food Shows on Netflix to Binge Right Now

These binge-worthy food series will put that bucket of popcorn to shame.
Travel

The Best Lightweight Travel Laptops for 2018

Apple used to be the only game in town. Not anymore.
Travel

The Best Carry-On Luggage: Travel Smart, Light, and In Style

Carry-on luggage is getting lighter, better, stronger — even smarter. Which suitcase is right for you?
Travel

Kyoto’s First ‘Dispersed Hotel’ Is Spread Throughout the City

You'll have no choice but to explore the city — this hotel is designed that way.
Travel

Staying at These 4 Bubble Hotels Feels Like Sleeping on Another Planet

A bubble hotel is the next best thing to an interplanetary getaway.
Food & Drink

This One-Room Hotel Is Home to London’s First Whisky Vending Machine

Because vending machines shouldn't just be for overpriced Snickers and stale Pop-Tarts.
Travel

Where to Find the World’s Weirdest Winter Sports

Sure, everyone's heard of hockey and snowboarding. But what about wok racing?
Travel

14 Architectural Wonders to Visit in Castilla y León, Spain

From underground wineries to towering cathedrals, these gorgeous structures need to be on your bucket list.
Outdoors

Kosovo’s New Via Ferrata Berim Is Among Europe’s Most Death-Defying Climbs

If you like unnecessarily dangerous hikes, North Kosovo awaits.
Travel

Iceland’s Upscale Hostel KEX to Bring Michelin-Star Swagger to Portland, Oregon

This ain't the loud, sketchy, soulless hostel of your European backpacking days.
Travel

The Best Places to Travel in January 2019

Thinner crowds, cheap airfare, and beautiful weather make these destinations some of the best places to travel in January.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet? So get inspired.