Most Luxurious Trains In Japan

japan luxury train
| 5 min read

Japan is one of the few countries that probably features on everyone’s list of ‘must-visit places’. Blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, ancient temples and shrines, amazing culture, traditions, food, technological marvels, and friendly people, Japan is a tourist’s delight! Travelling across the country is very easy and convenient thanks to its extensive railway network. Trains hold a special place of pride and significance in Japan for the country is home to the world-famous high-speed passenger train, Shinkansen. But the country also has numerous luxury trains that provide luxury, comfort, fine-dining, epic views, and unmatched hospitality. From traditional decor through modern design elements to gourmet cuisine, these trains are the epitome of luxury. If you wish to experience luxury train travel too, take a look at our recommendations of the most luxurious trains in Japan.

1. Shiki-shima (5,053 USD onwards)

Posted by Office of Consul of Japan in Cape Town / on Friday, 9 June 2017

Operated by the East Japan Railways Company (JR East), Shiki-shima is said to be one of the most sought-after luxury trains in Japan. It is a hybrid electric-diesel-operated luxury excursion train that made its maiden journey in May 2017. Salient features of the train include a luxurious lounge designed to look like a tranquil forest with its striking wall patterns, a dining car serving regional and global cuisine, a beautiful observation car, and a piano bar. Guest suites feature traditional tatami mat flooring, cypress bath tub, traditional and modern decor, etc. Guests are selected on the basis of an application process, where you can choose from a range of journeys through Japan.


Website: Shiki-shima

Price: 5,053 USD onwards

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2. The Royal Express

Enjoying luxury train ride from Yokohama to Izu Peninsula

Posted by Layla Ramsay on Monday, 24 June 2019

Painted in a royal blue hue on the outside and resembling a regal palace on the inside, The Royal Express is truly the epitome of luxury train travel in Japan. Featuring opulent furnishing, rich wood panelling, stained-glass windows, and elegantly patterned ceilings and floors, this train offers an unmatched train travel experience. Guests can apply to travel one way or select from a range of carefully designed journeys to exotic destinations in Japan. The train features a children’s play area, kitchen car, Gold Class car, Platinum Class car, and dining car offering panoramic views of the scenery.

The Royal Express

Website: The Royal Express

Price: 227 USD onwards

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3. Seven Stars in Kyushu

Posted by Seven Stars in Kyushu on Thursday, 30 March 2017

Operated by the Kyushu Railway Company, Seven Stars in Kyushu selects its guests through an application process that takes them on memorable journeys across the island of Kyushu. The train features opulently designed train cars that blend traditional and modern Japanese decor elements in its lounge car, dining car, and guest suites. Elegant wood and fabric details, large observatory-style windows, rich wood paneling, spacious suites, gourmet dining, and live piano performances are just some of the salient features of this train.

Seven Stars in Kyushu

Website: Seven Stars in Kyushu

Price: 2,731 USD onwards

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4. Genbi Shinkansen (45 USD onwards)

Genbi Shinkansen car 11 interior 20180106
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Robert Montgomery used under CC BY 2.0

Operating only on holidays, Genbi Shinkasen is a wonderful juxtaposition of art and Shinkansen (high-speed passenger trains). Travelling between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata, each car on this train has showcases some form of modern art specially created for the train by renowned artists. One car is decorated in rich yellow hues and patterns depicting seasonal festivals and harvests. Another car has reflective stainless steel mirrors and yet another car is specially created for kids with vibrant, map-like patterns on the walls. A cafe serving the popular Tsubame Coffee is also present here. Several other cars showcasing artworks, photographs, etc. from around the world can be explored too.

Genbi Shinkansen

Website: Genbi Shinkansen

Price: 45 USD onwards

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5. Sunrise Seto

JRW series285 'Nobinobi Seat' (Upper section)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user W0746203-1 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Jointly operated by JR Central and JR West railways, Sunrise Seto is an overnight luxury train that is also known as ‘Sunrise Express’. It travels between Tokyo and Takamatsu every day and is known for its variety of unique seating and sleeping plans. The 'Nobi-nobi’ seats are unique to Sunrise Seto and can be described as an open, partitioned room supplied with bedding, blankets, a small table, a lamp, and a window. Private compartments, berths, and small lounges are also available.

Sunrise Seto

Website: Sunrise Seto

Price: 81 USD onwards

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6. Twilight Express Mizukaze

A super luxury train, Twilight Express Mizukaze, can accommodate just 34 passengers at a time and offers multi-day luxury journeys in the Sanyo, Sanin, and Keihanshin regions of Japan. It has majestic exteriors and interiors, with the latter designed in the Art Deco style. Lending a touch of class and opulence to the train are its elegant furnishings, fixtures, and fittings in the lounge car and guest suites, observatory-style windows to take in the panoramic Japanese landscape from the observation cars, and a dining car that serves culinary masterpieces to delight your palate. This train is truly a palace on wheels!

Twilight Express Mizukaze

Website: Twilight Express Mizukaze

Price: 2,500 USD onwards

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7. Fifty two seats of happiness

Fifty-two Seats of Happiness (40062154851)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cheng-en Cheng used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A train specialising in brunch and dinner service, Fifty two seats of happiness is a luxury train unique to Japan. Its quirky name belies the true charm of this train - its scrumptious gourmet dining and breathtaking views. Running only on weekends and holidays, the train has 52 seats divided amongst four- and two-person tables in its two passenger cars that are made from local timber and adorned with traditional handicrafts. Travelling between Tokyo and Chichibu, it promises Japanese fine-dining with superb countryside views.

Fifty two seats of happiness

Website: Fifty two seats of happiness

Price: 182 USD onwards

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8. Shikoku Mannaka Sennen Monogatari

Posted by Follow Me Japan on Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Travelling through the picturesque Shikoku region of Japan is the magnificent Shikoku Mannaka Sennen Monogatari luxury train. Aboard this sightseeing train relax in well-appointed passenger cars, each designed in a different seasonal theme, that are equipped with wide windows to take in the rustic scenery. Dine on authentic local delicacies that are served in a bento-box style presentation and enjoy a leisurely ride aboard this majestic train.

Shikoku Mannaka Sennen Monogatari

Website: Shikoku Mannaka Sennen Monogatari

Price: 92 USD onwards

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9. Setsugekka

Posted by Niigata Tourism Information Enjoy Niigata on Thursday, 25 October 2018

Highlighting the beauty and cuisine of Niigata region of Japan is Setsugekka, a luxury sightseeing train. Popularly known as a ‘resort train’, Setsugekka consists of an observation deck at the front of the train that has incredibly large windows from which to take in gorgeous countryside scenery, a lounge and bar, passenger seating areas, and a dining car that serves carefully prepared, exquisite French and Japanese dishes presented in a beautiful manner. Elegant decors of local cedar, birch, and beech wood has won this train several awards.


Website: Setsugekka

Price: 159 USD onwards

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10. Tango Kuromatsu (35 USD onwards)

Posted by GoGraph Japan on Friday, 3 May 2019

Evoking an old-world charm and feeling of nostalgia is the Tango Kuromatsu train. Exploring the beautiful Kyoto countryside, this sightseeing train is designed on the theme of a pine tree, the symbol of Amanohashidate, one of the three renowned scenic views of Japan. It has a luxurious wooden interior design, pictures and symbols of pine tree pictures on the walls, and beautiful furnishings. Choose from lunch, tea ceremony, sweets, or drinking plans to enjoy a variety of local delicacies while feasting your eyes on the ocean, mountain, and countryside vistas.

Tango Kuromatsu

Website: Tango Kuromatsu

Price: 35 USD onwards

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11. Tohoku Emotion (37 USD onwards)

Posted by Tokyo Rail Days Malaysia on Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Known particularly well for its cuisine, Tohoku Cuisine is a beautiful Japanese sightseeing train that runs between Hachinohe and Kuji stations. The train offers design, art, cuisine, and panoramic views all under one roof and comprises an open kitchen, private compartments, and dining area. The interior of the train is decorated with sashiko ori wall fabric, kogin sashi embroidery, and Iwate kohaku amber illumination following various Japanese traditions. Enjoy a set lunch or dessert buffet from a specially crafted menu involving local Tohoku ingredients. Book a one-way ticket or a round trip one to enjoy the best of Tohoku cuisine and scenery aboard the Tohoku Emotion train.

Tohoku Emotion

Website: Tohoku Emotion

Price: 37 USD onwards

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Luxury train travel in Japan

Trains form the backbone of travel and transport in Japan. And taking train travel to new heights are the wide variety of luxury trains in the country. If you want to experience luxury train travel, do remember to take a look at our list of the most luxurious trains in Japan.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Isha is a former corporate employee who now leads a tranquil life centered around travel, writing, and minding her own business.

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