Japan’s Luxurious Shiki-shima Sleeper Train
The E001 series (E001系), branded Train Suite Shiki-shima (TRAIN SUITE 四季島 Toran Suiito Shikishima, pronounced [toɽaɴ suiito ɕikiɕima]) is a hybrid electric/diesel deluxe sleeping-car excursion train operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) since 1 May 2017
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 rooms, while one car (car 7) has two deluxe suites – a split-level “maisonette” type and a single-level “flat” type. The train formation is as shown below, formed of six motored (“M”) cars and four non-powered trailer (“T”) cars, and car 1 at the southern en All suites have a shower and toilet. The two deluxe suites also each have a bathtub One suite in car 4 is universal access The entire train accommodates only 34 passengers.
Ready to reserve a room? You’ll have to wait. Despite nightly rates that start at nearly $3,000 and go up to almost $10,000, the train is booked solid till 2018. And even then reservations are not that easy to come by. Prospective passengers can fill out an online form to enter a lottery for future trips, but Shiki-Shima’s parent company, East Japan Railway, only sporadically opens these application periods. It all comes down to a perfect pairing of luxury and luck.