The Train Suite Shiki-shima is a slow yet incredibly futuristic train that caters for customers who want to enjoy a relaxed journey through Japan.
“Japan is not a large country, but it is an expansive country – a country with depth” reads the concept statement from the East Japan Railway Company on its latest innovation – the Train Suite Shiki-shima. It’s a brand new kind of locomotive that has a top speed of 110kph – a far cry less than the bullet train’s record speed of 603kph. But rather than focus on using magnetic levitation, the Shiki-shima is all about relaxation and style – not velocity.
It’s a 10-car sleeper train that’s clearly not made for the budget commuter. It starts at Tokyo’s Ueno station where there’s an exclusive lounge and platform for the Shiki-shima. The train only carries a mere 34 guests over 17 suites, the most expensive of which is the Shiki-shima car which costs JPY 950,000 (GBP 6,600) for two sharing. It has a five star lounge and dining area with Michelin starred chefs, and it has an observation car with floor to roof windows for spectacular views of the countryside and mountains. There are a range of different trips over several days depending on budget and time.
The train’s been booked up until May 2018 – but potential customers visiting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be advised to book way ahead. Other train initiatives we’ve seen lately include the Adaptable Carriage, which lets operators configure the cars to changing needs, and Locomore – an eco-friendly group trying to break the train monopoly in Germany. Would you like to see a service like the Shiki-shima in your country?