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Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h

29/06/2017 Comments (0) Architecture, Mobility, Other

A luxury hotel at 100 km/h

The Shiki-Shima, the most luxurious train in the world, is also a real hotel on rails. This the brainchild of Ken Okuyama, who had already designed the Shinkansen, the Japanese High Speed Train.

Four days, three nights and breathtaking landscapes between Tokyo and Hokkaido island, in the north of the archipelago. We knew about sleepers, now we have “hotel trains”. The first of its kind, the Shiki-Shima, was opened in early May by the Japanese railway company JR East. Composed of ten cars, this new luxury train is also the first real hotel on rails: it has 17 suites, two of them duplex, which can house 34 passengers in total.

Dinner prepared by a top starred chef, cocktails to sip in a piano-bar: everything exudes refinement in the Shiki-Shima. The rooms are fitted with king size beds and complete bathrooms, with bathtub and shower. The height of exclusivity: at each end of the convoy, a panoramic lounge enables guests to enjoy the serene Japanese landscapes.

This steel engine, scudding at full speed between Tokyo and Hokkaido, was conceived by Ken Okuyama, designer of the famous Shinkansen – the Japanese forerunner of the TGV – also known for designing the Ferrari Enzo, the Honda NSX and the new generation of the Porsche 911. Seeking to create a new experience, Okuyama used a number of traditional Japanese materials. These include lacquers and “washi”, a rare paper manufactured from paper mulberry fibres. In the two duplex suites, the most expensive ones, the bathtub is made in “hinoki”, a Japanese cedar with highly perfumed wood.

  • Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
    Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
  • Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
    Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
  • Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
    Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
  • Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
    Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
  • Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h
    Un hôtel de luxe à 100 km/h

Luxury battle

The launch of this train, which cost JR East 40 million Euros, throws light on the luxury battle engaged between the Japanese archipelago’s different companies. In 2013, the company Kyushu Railway launched the Seven Stars, a more modest luxury train than the Shiki-Shima. Opposite JR East, there is also its rival from the West, JR West, which just unveiled its Twilight Express Mizukaze on 17 June.

But, by getting ahead of its competitors, the Shiki-Shima has also made prices sky-rocket. The journey of four days and three nights for two costs 15,500 Euros, before tax. A price that now surpasses the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, which links Moscow to Vladivostok, at 3,000 Euro a night. And despite this tidy sum, customers are queuing up: reservations full until March 2018.

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