JAPAN: West Japan Railway is to launch the Twilight Express Mizukaze (fresh breeze) luxury cruise train in June, adopting a similar concept to JR East’s Train Suite Shiki-Shima.

With five one night or two-night itineraries, the luxury 10-car train will give up to 30 passengers the opportunity to travel to or from the Kansai area to visit national parks and cultural sites in the Sanyo and Sanin regions.

Accommodation is in single or two-person rooms, with the option of travelling in ‘The Suite’, which occupies an entire car with a living area, bedroom and bathroom. There is a dining car, a panoramic lounge car and an observation car with a balcony at each end.

Design and styling of the Twilight Express Mizukaze was entrusted to Kazuya Ura, an architect and interior designer who was head of Nikken Space Design before establishing the URA Kazuya Design Laboratory, Tetsuo Fukuda, an industrial designer responsible for the Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo sleeping cars and the N700 Series Shinkansen, and Takeshi Kadokami, editorial advisor to culinary magazine Amakara Techo. Catering is in the hands of top-class chefs who prepare dishes onboard from locally-sourced produce.

Fares range from ¥270 000 in a twin-berth cabin for a two-day trip to ¥1·2m for a three-day itinerary in The Suite. The train is fully booked until September.