Personally, I think Japan has the best train system in the world. They are efficient, comfortable and unbelievably clean and I am not talking about long distant luxury trains. Then there is the Bullet Train (Shinkansen), which is famous not only for its lightning-fast travel but for little parties groups of travelers have among themselves. There was a lot of noise about adding more luxury options to train travel from Japanese rail companies in the last couple of years. One of those new projects, Twilight Express Mizukaze sleeper train service from Japan Railway West is almost ready and they will start taking reservations on December 5.
These trains are designed with more emphasis on leisure and sightseeing – hence the observation cars and private rooms. The Twilight Express Mizukaze service is set to open during summer travel season next year. The 10 car train configuration include two observations cars (both ends), four cars with twin rooms, one a mix of twin and single rooms and an entire car for the suite. Both the dining car and the lounge are located in the middle. There is no overcrowding here – the train has an estimated capacity to carry 30 passengers.
The “Mizukaze Green” exterior is a design element borrowed from the former “Twilight Express” and it blends well with Japanese landscape. The company website notes there is a touch of nostalgia to the design, which seems true from the images. To add a little sparkle it is accented with a gold emblem and trim.
The 1930s and 1920s Art Deco-inspired interiors feature decorations inspired from the regions along the routes. This is the lounge car, it has tables and chairs for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
Whether the passengers are in their rooms or on the observation deck, the large windows offer great views of the beautiful scenery. Some windows can be opened to let in the fresh breeze. This is one of the twin rooms with retractable beds.
For more information visit Twilight Express Mizukaze website.