Shiki-Shima Luxury Sleeper Train Goes into Service

Society Guide to Japan Travel

Tokyo, May 1 (Jiji Press)—The Train Suite Shiki-Shima luxury sleeper operated by East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, went into service with some fanfare on Monday with Japan now into its Golden Week holiday period.

At 11:40 am (2:40 am GMT), Shiki-Shima left central Tokyo's Ueno Station for a four-day, three-night tour of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaidō and the Tōhoku region.

The luxury sleeper Train Suite Shiki-Shima prepares to leave Ueno Station on May 1, 2017. (© Jiji)

The train has only 17 cabins, all suites, and all tickets for the first train were sold by lottery due to high demand.

The chance of winning was one in 76 for the most expensive room, known as Shiki-Shima Suite, which is priced at ¥950,000 per person when shared by two people.

"When I applied for the tour a year ago after retiring, I never expected to win a ticket," said Satoshi Hayami, a 65-year-old Tokyo resident who was about to board the train with his wife. "I've been waiting for this all year."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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