Japan’s newest, most luxurious train will be traveling through the Western part of the country from June 2017. Baroque Travel finds out all about West Japan Railway’s Twilight Express Mizukaze
Offering “Superior quality with a touch of nostalgia”, the Twilight Express Mizukaze will start operating this summer, from 17 June 2017. The train is one of three new luxury trains that will be launched by Japanese railway companies this year. This luxurious 10-coach sleeper train offers accommodation for up to 30 passengers; it will offer journeys in Keihanshin, Sanin and Sanyo regions in western Japan. Two special observation cars with balconies at the front and the back will enable passengers to enjoy the sights as they travel in luxury.
Designed with every possible facility, the new Mizukaze is refined, and offers a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. Passengers will enjoy an unforgettable experience on board, staying in suites, twin or single cabins that are offered in three classes. Designed by architect and interior designer Kazuya Ura in collaboration with industrial designer Tetsuo Fukuka, the interior is plush and comfortable.
Dining is a gourmet experience on Twilight Express Mizukaze, with seven chefs, all “masters of Japanese cuisine” to oversee all meals. The coaches are hybrid-diesel powered and battery-assisted motor-driven, allowing the train to run even without overhead wires.
This innovative train has been designed with the concept of being a luxury hotel on rails, taking passengers on scenic journeys across Western Japan. It will run from Kyoto and Osaka to Shimonoseki in the Yamaguchi Prefecture and return via coastal areas that lie on the Sea of Japan. Passengers can enjoy one or two night journeys on board. They will also have time to disembark for sightseeing tours.
Before the train even takes off on its first journey more than 2,000 reservations have been made for the summer months, between June and September 2017, proving that the Twilight Express Mizukaze is going to be a roaring success. And tickets don’t come cheap – one night in a cabin for two people will cost in the region of $2,400, while a night in a suite will set you back approximately $6,666.
But the price is well worth it for such an exceptional train journey: you can discover Japan’s allure from the comfort of a cabin that is as luxurious as any guest room in a top class hotel, enjoy breathtaking scenery and enjoy gourmet delights.
The name ‘Mizukaze’ translates to ‘fresh wind’ in English, and is also the word for a ‘joyous wind that brings fortune’. The train’s logo comprises an ‘M’ for Mizukaze and resembles a mountain range, with angels from the Twilight Express logo that symbolize the sweeping wind.
The Twilight Express Mizukaze’s planned routes
Sanyo Course (outbound) – 2 day tour from Kyoto and Osaka stations to Shimonoseki station via the Sanyo Main line. Sightseeing: Miyajimaguchi and Onomichi
Sanyo Course (Inbound) – 2-day tour from Shimonoseki station to Osaka and Kyoto stations. Sighteeing: Kurashiki and Iwukani
Sanin Course (Outbound) – 2-day tour from Kyoto and Osaka station to Shimonoseki station via the Sanin Main Line. Sightseeing: Kinosaki Onsen and Higashi-Hagi
–Sanin Course (Inbound) : 2-day tour from Shimonoseki station to Osaka and Kyoto stations via the Sanin Main Line. Sightseeing: Izumoshi and Tottori
Sanin and Sanyo Courses (Round tour) : 3-day circular tour from Kyoto and Osaka stations to Okayama station, Shinji/Matsue and Higashihama Station.