The luxury train’s concept is based on completely indulging its passengers on and off-board, with an array of exclusive encounters focused on discovering the lesser-known delights in and around eastern Japan. From unique destination experiences to the fine dining and amenities onboard the train, the Shiki-shima’s newest itinerary is focused on showcasing unique attractions en route.
What is JR East’s Train Suite Shiki-shima
The Shiki-shima is decked out with all elements of luxury, from a five-star lounge, observatory and fine dining cars to deluxe private suite rooms. The Shiki-shima was designed with a refined aesthetic, accompanying elements of traditional Japanese design throughout all the cars. Even at full capacity, the Shiki-shima only hosts a maximum of only 34 passengers in the 17 onboard suites, giving passengers plenty of space to relax as they travel. also include working fireplaces as well as private en-suite cypress wood baths.
The Shiki-shima’s has two ‘View Terrasses’, observation cars on each end of the train which incorporate floor-to-ceiling window panels and a lush moss-like carpet, enhancing the image of becoming part of nature you pass by. However, aside from the train’s interior, one of the Shiki-shima’s highlights has to be its onboard dining, with menus created by some of Japan’s top chefs, creating a fine selection of seasonal and local specialities from the areas passed by on the journey, all served in the glamorous on-board dining room.
New overnight journey itineraries for Spring and Autumn
Scheduled to start their first trip in April this year, the Shiki-shima’s Overnight Yamanashi course is to be taken in some of Japan’s most beautiful seasons: spring (April and May) and autumn (October and November). This trip’s itinerary is centred around showcasing the often overlooked delights of Yamanashi and Niigata prefectures.
Starting your journey from Tokyo, passengers will make their way north. After indulging in lunch prepared onboard by a renowned chef, you will make your first stopover in Niigata Prefecture. Here you will visit the historic Saito Villa, who at the time was one of the wealthiest merchants of the prefecture. The original villa showcases the luxury of Japan in the 1920s, the gardens and the house itself are now seen as rich cultural assets.
Reboarding the Shiki-shima, you will take your dinner in the dining car with a full-course French menu that incorporates some of the incredible flavours and ingredients of Eastern Japan, all prepared by one of the Train Suite Shiki-shima’s executive chefs. After a bedtime cocktail in the glamorous Komorebi Lounge Car 5 overlooking the scenery that passes by your window, you will stay overnight in your onboard suite.
On the second day, you make a stop in Yamanashi Prefecture, where you will be indulged in the delights of Japan’s ‘grape capital’. Starting with a gourmet breakfast at restaurant FRENCH DINING RYU that uses local and organically grown vegetables, served at their luxurious venue with open vistas of their Japanese garden. From here, you will then be escorted to one of the Katsunuma area’s best wineries; either Grace Wine, Katsunuma Winery or the Marufuji Winery. Here you will sample some of the best products from the area which has grown to international fame as a major producer of Japanese wine brewed using 100% domestic grapes.
At noon you will reboard the Shiki-shima and be served your final meal onboard as you make your way back down to Tokyo.
For more information on the Train Suite Shiki-shima and their other services, please visit their website.