take a $12,000 journey in Japan’s Luxury Train

Earlier in May train and travel enthusiasts got their first look at the luxurious new Shiki-shima Sleeper train. The exterior is striking and stylish, hinting at what you can expect on the inside. It’s a 10 car train, and you’d think that it would fit a lot, but it only accommodates 34 people. Of course all those people get to travel in complete opulence. There’s no cattle class seating here!

To book a seat you’ll be setting yourself back ¥950,000, which is almost NZ$12,000. So here’s what you get for that sort of money.

shiki-shima exterior

There are a range of trips to take. There are short 1 night trips as well as a 4 day 3 night trip which will see you skirting the length and breadth of Japan seeing the country in comfort.


You won’t find anything lower than a suite on the Shiki-Shima. What you see here is the bog standard room. You’re provided an excellent view of the countryside as it rolls by you. Every Suite is also outfitted with its own shower and lavatory.

regular suite

Shiki-Shima Deluxe Suite

Here we have the top class suite for those who want to travel in true opulence. The suites seamlessly combine traditional Japanese aesthetics with a futuristic spirit.

Deluxe Suite

Dining Room

dining room

No expense is spared, especially when food is concerned. Two chefs make sure you’re fed only the best. Katsuhiro Nakamura is a Director and honorary Grand Chef of Nippon, while Hitoshi Iwasaki is head of Train Suite Shiki-shima. He brings French cuisine with a Japanese twist, adding flavours such as miso and wasabi.



One of the most interesting rooms is the Lounge with it’s striking wall pattern evoking an image of a quiet forest. It’s also a good place to meet up with the other guests.

Observatory Cars

The Observatory cars are for, well, observing. Glass walls and ceiling offer breathtaking views of the forests fields and coastline you’ll pass on your journey through eastern Japan’s diverse scenery.

Observatory car