Thursday, December 1, 2016

More on the Twilight Express Mizukaze

Luxury sleeper with 1.25 million yen top tickets to run from June

Asahi Shimbun  by ATSUSHI HIROSHIMA/ Staff Writer  December 1,

The front carriage of Twilight Express Mizukaze is covered in a black film to prevent scratching. (Asahi Shimbun file photo) 

There’s traveling in style, and then there’s the Twilight Express Mizukaze--a luxury sleeper train with a whole carriage-sized suite that costs up to an eye-popping 1.25 million yen ($11,000).

West Japan Railway Co.’s top-of-the-range model is scheduled to start operations on June 17, the company announced Nov. 29.

Reservations open from Dec. 5 for journeys from June to September, with even the least expensive tickets going for 250,000 yen for a two-day trip.

The sophisticated sleeper comprises 10 carriages, including a lounge car, dining car and two observation cars.

The remaining six carriages are taken up by 16 guest rooms of three types--single, twin and suite--that can accommodate a maximum of 34 passengers.

Carrying on the name of the famed sleeper train Twilight Express that retired in March 2015, Twilight Express Mizukaze is painted in the same deep green as its predecessor.

Mizukaze will travel between Kyoto, Osaka and Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Invoking feelings of luxury and nostalgia, the train offers two- and three-day trips.

The shorter journey is a one-way trip which will take passengers from Kyoto or Osaka to Shimonoseki through either the Pacific-side Sanyo region or the Sanin region facing the Sea of Japan.

The longer journey is a round-trip which allows passengers to depart from either Kyoto or Osaka stations and travel through both the Sanyo and Sanin regions.

On both trips, passengers have the opportunity to get off and go sightseeing during stops in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, among other spots.

Passengers will be served dishes featuring local ingredients from along the travel routes, which will be overseen by prominent chefs in Kyoto and Osaka.

The whole-carriage suite, which can accommodate up to four and has its own balcony and bathtub, will set passengers back from 560,000 yen to 1.2 million yen per person.

Excursions in a twin room will cost between 270,000 yen and 550,000 yen per person. A room for one or two persons will be available for between 250,000 yen and 670,000 yen per passenger.

The deadline for reserving trips in June through September is Jan. 31.

Passengers will be selected by lottery if applicants outnumber available places.

JR West initially planned to start the train next spring, but it delayed the launch to take extra time for safety checks.

For more information, visit Twilight Express Mizukaze's official website: (

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