A new luxury tourist train in Japan has launched on 21st July 2017, offering visitors the chance to ride in style from Yokohama (near Tokyo) to the Izu Peninsula – full of hot springs and picturesque coastlines.
The Royal Express - Japan's latest addition to its ever-growing number of luxury sightseeing trains - has been designed by Eiji Mitooka, designer of the Seven Stars Kyushu sightseeing cruise train, from the smart royal blue of the train's exterior down to the staff uniforms.
The train will offer passengers the chance to enjoy an elegant experience on their way between Yokohama and the Izu Peninsula, featuring opportunities for dining and live musical performances while on board. At around 100 people, it also has one of the highest passenger capacities of any tourist train in Japan.
Passengers can choose from either one-way tickets with a meal included or a selection of three different “cruise plans”, each including a return train journey, meals, overnight accommodation and sightseeing activities in Izu. Meals are curated by chefs Chikara Yamada in the Yokohama-Izu direction and Michiyo Kawano on the way from Izu to Yokohama.
While the Royal Express's “cruise plans” are only open to groups with children aged thirteen and above, its family-friendly Gold Class carriages feature specially designed family seats where parents and small children can sit together, and there is also a ballpond and library of children's books on board.
Passengers will also be available to avail themselves of purpose-built facilities at Yokohama station before boarding: a private waiting room (The Royal Lounge) which is only open to Royal Express passengers and a cafe (The Royal Cafe, business hours: 7am until 10pm) which is also open to members of the public.
The train runs between JR Yokohama station in Yokohama and Itokyu Shimoda station in Shimoda City at the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula. The service is being operated jointly by Tokyo Corporation, which manages several lines in the commuter belt around Tokyo, and Izukyu Corporation, which operates the main Izukyu Line down the Izu Peninsula's scenic eastern coast.