News from JNTO

GREATEST JAPAN RAIL JOURNEY

Cruising by rail offers panoramic perspectives and views of the visually stunning landscape unique to Japan. Although the speed and elegance of the Shinkansen (bullet train) typically garners most international notoriety, the Japan Railways Group also offers more than 40 different trains each featuring local and unique cabin themes specific to a particular area of Japan.

Discover the uniqueness of exploring Japan by rail with some of the theme trains highlighted below.


KAWASEMI YAMASEMI

Operating Section: Kumamoto – Hitoyoshi (Kumamoto prefecture) – 1.5 hour trip

KAWASEMI YAMASEMI

 

Deep mountains and the Kuma River surround the Hitoyoshi Basin. In years past, the forbidding landscape of this area made travel through the region problematic. Today, travelers can enjoy the serene beauty of the basin from the comfort of their cabin. The train’s name (Kawasemi Yamasemi) comes from names of wild birds who travelled freely across the territory. Inside the train the cabin interior is adorned with locally sourced cedar and cypress. The forest theme creates a truly relaxing atmosphere. Counter seats face large wide windows that enable travelers to enjoy a panoramic view of the Kuma River. There are many local sightseeing spots along the line including the Kumamoto Castle, Hitoyoshi onsen Hot Spring and thrilling rafting along the Kuma River. Additionally, be sure to try the locally produced, rice made shochu for which Hitoyoshi has gained much notoriety.

Kumamoto Castle

 

For more information, please visit here.


HANAYOME NOREN

Operating Section: Kanazawa – Wakura Onsen Hot spring (Ishikawa prefecture) – 1.5 hour trip

HANAYOME NOREN

 

Experience a theme train that reflects the region’s traditional signature Kaga Yuzen texitiles and Wajima-nuri lacquerware. The first cabin features eight semi private rooms decorated with beautifully appointed Yuzen textiles from yesteryear. Additionally, the entrance of the first cabin is decorated with Wajima-nuri lacquer art and adorned in gold foil. Walk down the aisle from the first cabin and notice at your feet a group of wonderfully Illustrated stepping-stones seemingly transported from a Japanese garden.

Splendid traditional art and local food tasting are available to peruse and enjoy at the event space in the cabin. Purchase a meal voucher before you board to taste the delicious and beautiful gourmet bento-box on board. (You will need to purchase the voucher 4 days in advance.) Explore the region’s traditional crafts and taste fresh seafood in Kanazawa. At the terminal station, lay back and relax in the Wakura Onsen hot spring, located in Japan’s Noto Peninsula.

HANAYOME NOREN

 

For more information , please visit here.


KOSHINO SHU*KURA

Operating Section: Jyoetsumyoko – Toka-machi (Niigata prefecture) – 2.5 hour trip

KOSHINO SHU*KURA
KOSHINO SHU*KURA Map

 

The theme of the Koshino Shu*Kura train is “SAKE” as Niigata is one of the top sake brewing prefectures. The train offers a range of selected sake and snacks using local ingredients as well as entertainment from jazz or classic music performances. The stylish cabin offers a lot of space, with observation seats that peer out over massive windows. The local specialties of the region consist of fresh seafood, tasty rice and premium local sake. There are many local meals to excite your taste buds but be sure to enjoy a bowl of heavenly Hegisoba noodles in the Tokamachi area. Smooth and firm in texture and made with seaweed, Hegisoba noodles are not to be missed. Additionally, while in the area, the Takada castle in Jyoetsu city is also well worth a visit.

KOSHINO SHU*KURA & Takada castle

 

For more information, please visit here.



Luxury Train Journeys

Among the numerous train types in Japan, a small percentage fall under the category of prestigious trains that offer the highest standards of cabins and service. These luxury trains are in very high demand and typically sell out quickly. If your budget allows, pamper yourself and enjoy the epitome of rail luxury as you pass through spectacular local scenery in the most comfortable and luxurious surroundings.

Below is a selection of luxury trains that launched in 2017.


TWILIGHT EXPRESS MIZUKAZE (1-3 days)

In June of 2017, the Mizukaze launched the concept of “A hotel rolling through the beautiful Japanese landscape, offering superior quality with a touch of nostalgia”. The cabins feature superior interiors, including private en-suite sleeping cabins, observation cars, and beautifully designed dining and lounge cars. The highest-class cabins are like apartments and incorporate the entire cabin space. They are adorned with ornate entrances, private balconies, a living room, a bedroom and bathroom with a bath tab. The dining cabin provides the finest local fresh ingredients sourced along the railway line. Several executive chefs from Japan supervise the menu. The exclusive journey starts from Kyoto, Osaka or Shimonoseki and runs through the beautiful coastline of the Sea of Japan or the Seto Inland Sea. Off-train excursion programs offer opportunities to explore Japan’s iconic destinations including the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Itsukushima Shrine and Tottori Sand Dunes.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Itsukushima Shrine and Tottori Sand Dunes

 

For more information , please visit here.


TRAIN SUITE SHIKI-SHIMA (2-4 days)

Shiki-shima (Island of four seasons) successfully launched the concept of a “Journey to discover hidden depths.” The train cruises the Northern and Eastern parts of Japan. The choice of itinerary varies from 2-4 days, starting and ending at Ueno (Tokyo) station. On the train ride, a beautifully appointed lounge evokes the images of the forest. The elegant dining suite serves exquisite meals using fresh local ingredients from Eastern Japan. The highest class, “Shiki-shima” suite features a Japanese tatami mat floor and an aromatic cypress wooden bath. Two observatory cars enable passengers to admire the lavish natural surroundings along the journey. Securing a two-day itinerary includes two excursion trips and a great opportunity to try Yamanashi wines and admire the craftsmanship of the Aizu-nuri lacquerware.

Yamanashi wines and Aizunuri lacquerware.

 

For more information , please visit here.

Plan your next trip in Japan with these special rides to create unforgettable memories.
These trains are operated seasonally and tickets are not sold in the US. Please contact your travel advisor or hotel concierge.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

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