Cruising with a train

Not the orient express.

We refer, instead to the train service between Tokyo and Hokkaido. It has always been our intent to revisit Hokkaido without flying. The dream was to take a train to Sapporo and pick up the rental and drive all around, especially in summer. Thus we had been doing quite some research into how we will pull this off.

And we picked up news of this luxurious service that will run the length of Tokyo to the northern most island of the Japanese archipelago. Started since 1-May this year, this new sleeper service (read here) is the epitome of luxury ‘cruising’. Like its cousins in the airline industry, the railway folks are also upping their game. From the article, it would appear there is no shortage of folks who would lap it up. Oversubscribed 76 times when balloted for its first ever journey, it has continued to be popular we understand.

However, take a read about the cost of making this journey first before making a decision to book a pair of tickets. At ¥320,000pp a pop for the train ride (twin share), this could be the cost of an entire travel journey for most people. And meals are not included! Oh the experiences that only money seem to buy… Perhaps we can work part-time on the train, or be stowaways? Sounds like a lot of working on the railroad. All the life long day!

How would you like to pass your time away on this train?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

16 thoughts on “Cruising with a train”

  1. I was in Hokkaido earlier this year, and the local news media was covering all over about this train coming through the local JR station. People with budget (like most of us) can’t afford riding on this train (Shikishima), so when the train comes through, a huge crowd of people gather to just to take a peek at the train and take pictures. You step out of this train, then you can get interviewed by the media and will feel like a celebrity! They go to different routes and location all the time, and their route in Hokkaido included an overnight stay in a nice Onsen resort.
    The train is known to have a Japanese style bath made of Hinoki (Japanese Cypress tree?) which is very very expensive. This type of bath is supposed to be the ultimate luxury. One lady exclaimed that with the price of ticket so high, she can put the Hinoki bath in her home instead of buying the ticket (If she can afford it…)

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    1. LOL indeed! For that one could have flown to Hawaii and come back with spare money! But you see, some people buy the experience and feeling from the journey. And rightfully it is their money and wish to do so. Oh we can definitely imagine the crowds looking at the train… we would if we were in Tokyo!

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  2. Luxury trains are really expensive. We’ve been wanting to try our own Rovos Rail or Blue Train but the price for this local travel does not make sense to us. It is not quite 320 000 Yen but pricey for your average local. I would though… if only I only had to pay for only me. The trouble is being the breadwinner, travel costs are the responsibility of this girl. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a lot of money! We wanted to take the scenic train ride through North Carolina during fall. It’s not even a full 6 hours and the price was unbelievable! Ah, to have all the money in the world…

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  4. Laughing Suan. Peggy and I had thought it would be fun to take the special Canadian Pacific train from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies, a few hundred miles away. Then we saw the price tag, the same amount that we would pay for a vacation trip to Europe from Oregon!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they are, which means that a heck of a lot of people have a heck of a lot more money than I do… or that they are willing to forego other trips for the experience, or that they are in debt up to their necks. 🙂

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