Luxury Off the Rails

The futuristic Shiki Shima train launched earlier this month in Japan. It’s goal is to set a new bar for luxury train travel with opulence and personal service. The minimalist interior design by Ken Okuyama who previously worked with Porsche, is designed to evoke a sense of calm and tranquility.

We have often said time is the greatest luxury of all which is perhaps why the Shiki Shima tops out a top speed of just 68 miles per hour. Unlike Japan’s famed Shinkansen or bullet trains, this one is designed for the journey not to get you to the destination in a hurry.

You can book the train for a two day or four day adventure but the price tag is a whopping $2,500+ per night and it’s already fully booked until March 2018. Of course the 10 train car only accommodates 34 passengers. It plies a route on Japan’s most northern island Hokkaido which is known for its beautiful four seasons of scenery.

Owned by East Japan Railway (JR East) the train is designed to offer “traditional Japanese aesthetics with a futuristic spirit.” The outside of the train is clad in a sleek metal look with geometric-style windows while the inside pays homage to Japanese design and craftsmanship. There are 17 sleeper suites with grey fabric chairs that transform into beds with the most luxurious suites offering two levels of accommodation.

The lounge area has a piano, parquet flooring and an innovative steam-operated fireplace while dining is compliments of Michelin-starred Katsuhiro Nakamura. All in all it looks like luxury train travel has now been brought firmly into the 21st century.

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