Japan Has a Luxury Train That Will Take You to the Country’s Smallest Island

iStockphoto/Getty Images

Forget rows of cramped seats — each passenger gets a window view on this train.

Traveling to remote regions doesn’t always equate to a luxury experiences. More often than not, you’re going to find yourself on a crowded bus, a never-ending car ride, or on a train that could be nicely described as “efficient.” Getting to a lesser-seen region is about the destination, after all. But if you are looking for cushier transportation on your next remote vacation, consider Japan’s new Toki no Yoake Monogatari train.

The new route will take you through Shikoku, which is the smallest of Japan’s four fundamental islands, according to FirstClasse, a website covering all things luxury. The region is often missed by travelers since there are no bullet train stations in the area, making it harder to access than other popular towns and villages.

The train consists of two cars that can hold 47 passengers at once and it will travel between the Kochi Station and the Kubokawa Station, a distance of nearly 43 miles. The interior is notable in that it doesn’t have the common bench seating or rows of seats you’d expect on a train. Each individual seat saddles up to a counter, making it easy to converse with fellow passengers while also getting your own tablespace. But the most convenient design detail is that the seats face the window, which is perfect for taking in the sights as you shoot along the southern coastline of Kochi. The exterior of the train is eye-catching on its own, with sun and moon imagery. The second train car — named Sorafune, or “Ship of the Sky” — features a star-painted ceiling.

When it comes to food offered on the train, you can be assured it will be delicious and focused on traditional Kochi recipes made of local ingredients, according to Japan Railways.

There’s no official debut date for the route, but Japan Railways has shared that the maiden voyage will occur in Spring 2020. For more information, check out this video highlighting the new route.