The Shika-shima is a champagne-gold hybrid powered train that offers 5-star luxury travel, and has already commanded a 9-month waiting list for people wanting to take a journey. Hop on board and find out why…
A few weeks ago we brought you a blog about the Orient Express, and how the iconic train service still captivates people looking to travel back to yesteryear in glamour and intrigue over 130 years after its first train started rolling.
Well now a train of modern day luxury has taken to the tracks and much like it’s counterpart the Shika-shima has attracted people’s interest from all over the world.
Nearly 200 years since the first passenger train travelled from Stockton to Darlington carrying anything from 300 to 600 people (depending which reports you believe) the Shika-shima carries just 34 passengers each journey, and whereas those on the first trip travelled in cold empty waggons, and some atop piles of coal, passengers now travel in plush luxury with a five-star lounge, and dine on a menu devised by a Michelin starred chef that shifts its ingredients and cooking style to reflect the regions it is passing through.
With plans dating back to 2013 the train styling and interior decoration of the train was overseen by industrial designer Ken Okuyama, who is best known for his work with Ferrari, and is advertised as using only the best quality materials and exemplifying traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
With an electric / diesel hybrid propulsion system it isn’t designed to beat any land speed records, especially with its top speed being a modest 70mph, but this is supposed to be a journey where you can sit back and take in the countryside and Japan’s natural surroundings through big panoramic windows – something you wouldn’t be able to do at 130mph!
The ten-coach train consists of six sleeping cars, a lounge car, a dining car, and observation cars at either end of the train. Five of the sleeping cars each have three private suite room, while one car has two deluxe suites – a split-level maisonette type and a single level flat type with the most expensive of these costing over £13,000 for two people
With 2 and 4 day itinerary’s running from spring to the autumn, and a 3 day one running over winter, and even with the cheapest ticket still costing more than £2200 there has been no shortage of passengers eager to try it out – in fact such was the demand that when it first opened in May there was already a 10 month waiting list through to next March, with the very first travellers being chosen via a lottery.
You now have until November 30th to apply to travel on the Shiki-shima, although be warned that this is just an application, and not an official booking……oh and this is for travelling between July and September next year!
For more information please head on over to the official website here.