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Super Deluxe Train to Serve Quake-Stricken Northeastern Japan

By May 6, 2017 at 12:25 am

Have you heard about a luxurious train Nanatsuboshi (Seven Starts) serving Kyushu, or have you already tried it? Well, the northerners are having their version of Nanatsuboshi nicknamed "Transuite Shikishima" (Island of Four Seasons) effective May 1. A test ride was offered April 26 over a limited distance between Ueno and Utsunomiyafor the press and other PR concerns to ride on the first super train of this sort ever to cover the northeast/northern regions of Japan.

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The 10-coach train has two open-ceilinged observation coaches at its head and tail for the passengers to freely enjoy the passing views. Most striking is the way the two-storied top-grade coach is equipped with a natural hinoki bath! The "ground" floor is a bedroom, the second a traditional Japanese-style tatami room with a cypress dug-in foot warmer.

Shikishima is luxurious also in another sense - that is, the train is virtually rock-free, meaning it hardly rocks as it travels. An ingenious anti-rocking device minimizes rocking movements to offer a comfortable cruise on the rails - this you will have to try to find out.

JR Eastern Japan charges anywhere between 32 thousand to 1.15 million yen for a trip and, believe you me, the reservations up to March next year were booked the moment they were offered on the very first day. The chance of acquiring the first-day tickets was astoundingly 1:76.

Shikishima is the follow-up version of Nanatsuboshi currently serving Kyushu. Western Japan JR is preparing one of their own to start serving the Chugoku region in June this year.

Director Atsushi Takahashi of East Japan JR comments:

"We believe this super deluxe train will not only help the people in the northern region but pep them up in their efforts to regain normalcy.

"Super trains of this kind will help highlight local attractions and contribute in promoting tourism in Japanese at large. (Nathan Shiga)

Source: NHK 

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