East Japan Railway Co. will start operating a luxury sleeper train by the spring of 2016, with the train traveling through the quake-ravaged Tohoku region and the Shinetsu region.
“There is demand for extraordinary experiences in a luxury space,” Tetsuro Tomita, JR East president, said. “(The new train) will also contribute to the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.”
The new luxury train will have two or three compartments, all of which will be suites, and will also feature a dining car and a lounge car. Its three-day, two-night trip, which will start from Tokyo Station, is planned to cost more than Y200,000 ($2,000), the train operator said, according to the international press.
The company said it is also considering destinations outside its service area, such as Hokkaido and Hokuriku.
The sleeper train will feature 10 new cars at a cost of Y5 billion and it will use a non-utility diesel electricity generating system in order to run even when it will not be supplied with electricity from overhead power lines.
Industrial designer Kiyoyuki Okuyama will design the exterior and interior of JR East’s new sleeper trains that aim mainly at foreign tourists.