Maximum luxury! In June of 2017 the Twilight Express Mizukaze super train with hybrid drove will start on five routes across the southwest of the Japanese main island of Honshu.
The predecessor of the new rolling hotel was the Twilight Express. Between 1989 and 2015, it travelled with up to three trains between Kyoto and the city of Sapporo on the main island of Hokkaido in the far north of Japan. In 26 years, about 1.2 million passengers travelled aboard the Twilight Express. Therefore, it ranked among the most successful luxury trains of that time. The railway company JR WEST wants to use the Mizukaze for setting new standards.
It was not sufficient to modernize the old trains. Its look alone is absolutely innovative. On both ends of the train there are viewing platforms below the driver's cabins from where you can enjoy the wind during the trip. In case of bad weather, you can look through the oversized panoramic windows and enjoy the landscape flying past. The suites are exceptional, too. They stretch over an entire wagon and are only accessible for the passenger who chartered the suite. It is virtually a three-room apartment with bath on wheels.
The train consists of a suite wagon, five wagons with single and double rooms, a restaurant wagon, a lounge wagon and the two scenic wagons. All wagons and compartments are equipped with finest materials and can well bear comparison with any five-star hotel. And speaking of stars: The menus aboard the Mizukaze are created by the most successful Japanese chef, Yoshiro Murata.
The Mizukaze travels on five routes between Kyoto and Shimonoseki. The two "Sanyo" routes extend along the southern coast of Honshu, while the "Sanin" routes are at the northern coast. All four travel routes last two days and one overnight stay aboard the train. The round trip, a combination of the "Sanyo" and the "Sanin" route, takes three days and two overnight stays.
The Mizukaze alone is already a real attraction. However, there is still a lot more to discover. On each trip, the train stops once a day so the passengers can go on excursions. The participants can visit old castles, traditional tea ceremonies or bath at lonely white sandy beaches. Hobby photographers will get their money's worth at the three special viewpoints. The magnificent nature and impressive architecture form the background for breathtaking pictures.
Of course, the high-quality equipment, the excellent service and exclusive impressions have their price. And that is quite high. The passages cost between 2,200 and 10,000 Euros per person.
Photos: Kjodo/ Twilight Mizukaze Express