A treasure hidden deep within the forestNikko's shrines and temples [Day 1]

Since the Nara period, Nikko has flourished as the center of the Sangaku-shinko Faith, a religion that worships mountains as sacred. This region began to draw tourists during the Edo period with the construction of a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, and rose to international prominence from the Meiji period onward.

From grandmother to mother, to daughterAinu designs [Day 2]

The designs adorning the native dress of the Ainu people were believed to ward off evil, and were passed down between generations from mother to daughter. Women learned the designs from the time they were girls, adding them to clothing with stitching, cutting or pasting on separate pieces of cloth. The men engraved decorative designs into their everyday wooden implements using a small knife called a makiri. A multitude of simple lines interlace to create complex designs that seem to offer a glimpse into the cosmic abyss.

Red glow of the evening sun sinking into the sea of JapanSea of Japan [Day 3 - Gono Line Trip]

The train hugs the sea at the foot of the Shirakami mountain range. Ride the Resort Shirakami train which only patrons of Train Suite Shiki-shima may board. Once you emerge from a short tunnel, you are greeted by a sea whose countenance changes moment to moment. The sun sinking in the distance. The Kazenomatsubara windbreak. The peculiar rock formations along the Senjojiki coast. The Resort Shirakami train threads through huge works of art, scattered whimsically by mother nature.

Patterns of lightDrifting jellies [Day 4]

Overlooking the ocean, the Kamo aquarium is the only aquarium in Yamagata Prefecture. What sets this aquarium apart is its unrivaled collection of jellyfish species. From jellyfish that look like UFOs, to those radiating bioluminescence, to some that are nearly transparent — the multitude of unique appearances invites observers into a fantastic undersea world. Don't miss splendid exhibits which including a "jelly-tarium" that lights up in 7 different colors, and a 5-meters diameter "Jellyfish dream theatre", which hosts more than 2,000 jellyfish.

A taste suited to the land and climateTraditional vegetables [Day 4]

Mt. Chōkai, Mt. Gassan and Mt. Zaō. With most of the prefecture consisting of mountains, and the ocean close by, Yamagata's valleys are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Different areas also have different local climates. So the residents of each place have long cultivated the produce most suited to that place. They have perhaps the largest variety of crops in Japan. There are radishes, eggplant and onions bearing the names of places here. There are also delicious dadacha beans and Mt. Gassan bamboo shoots. Against a trend of agricultural standardization, the fact that such variety has been preserved is due to more than just regional conditions, but a miraculous human story.

Practiced hands fluently shaping copperTsuiki Copperware [Day 4]

The incessant tapping of hammers on copper echoes throughout the workshop. The craftsman works a sheet of copper into the desired curve. Hammer, heat, hammer again. He hammers down the copper and softens it in the charcoal flames. This astounding accretion of technique has been handed down over 200 years in Niigata's Tsubame district. The crystallization of countless hours of skill, each vessel is beautiful to behold, and graceful in your hands or on your lips.

In the tale of any journey,
one hungers for cuisine that lingers in memory.

The most anticipated pleasure of travelers on Train Suite Shiki-shima, must be the meals partaken on-board the train and at each destination. Breakfast, lunch and dinner each feature fare that reveals the peculiar contours of the regions we travel through. At each destination you’ll savor dishes prepared by chefs reared on the flavors and ingredients of that region, as you appreciate its beauty through the train windows. It will definitely be cuisine that lingers in your memory.

* The information listed in “Cuisine” is current as of June 2016.
* All photos are for illustrative purposes. They may differ from the meals actually served on each Train Suite Shiki-shima journey.

Katsuhiro Nakamura

Cuisine Supervisor, Train Suite Shiki-shima

In order to assemble a team of cooking staff that can provide the highest level of cuisine for Train Suite Shiki-shima, I’ve spent more than a year together with my long-time friend, executive chef Hitoshi Iwasaki, traveling eastern Japan to discover elite chefs to collaborate with us. Ingredients characteristic of an area prepared with the intuition of a chef with roots in the area result in exquisite cuisine like no other. And the entire cooking staff collaborates to deliver just the right volume and balance over three meals each day. I hope to create a dining space that has never before been seen: a “three star restaurant on wheels”.

Hitoshi Iwasaki

Executive Chef, Train Suite Shiki-shima

As executive chef of Train Suite Shiki-shima, I visited collaborating restaurants around eastern Japan along with cuisine supervisor Katsuhiro Nakamura, to determine how to stage the story of each region’s food. And I'll also let patrons taste some of my own cooking during each course. At home in Tokyo, I've discovered many choice ingredients hosting an East Japan regional ingredients fair four times a year for the past nine years at the Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi. I apply this repertory to our menu, creating unique meals representative of each destination. My hope is that the meals will be one of the best memories of the trip for our guests.

A breakfast of Hakodate's Famous Squid and Salmon Roe Rice Bowl

Outside of the train Breakfast

Yuji Ogata

Ryotei Fumoto

Hakodate

The Japanese restaurant Fumoto, whose name alludes to the foot of mount Hakodate, housed in a building constructed in the early Showa period, is frequented by locals as a place to enjoy the tastes of Hakodate. Train Suite Shiki-shima gives guests a breakfast of squid and salmon roe — seafood characteristic of Hakodate. The ingredients for the entire year's stock of Shoyu-zuke salmon roe (salmon roe pickled in soy sauce) are caught in the waters off Hakodate during October and November each year, when salmon roe is in season. When I was a kid, I ate squid sashimi, bought from the lady selling squid, every morning for breakfast. We've prepared various seasonal ingredients to please the refined palates of our discerning clientele.

French cuisine expressing the "climate" of Hakodate

Onboard the train Lunch

Yuya Sekikawa

Le climat HAKODATE

Hakodate

The style of Le climat HAKODATE is to build up each plate one at a time, with advice and ingredients, such as vegetables, mutton, pork, beef, cheese and eggs, supplied by colleagues who are almost family. I'm excited to prepare meals that convey the climate and culture of southern Hokkaido. Passengers on Train Suite Shiki-shima will think to themselves, “I’m really in Hakodate!”. I’ve lived in Hakodate since I was born, and like it more than any other city I’ve visited. With the mountains and sea so near, it’s a place that makes you glad to be alive. My chief desire is that guests will come away with the same feeling.

A feast of Authentic French Sandwiches and Pastries

Onboard the train Lunch

Miki Nakazawa

Gourmands Kanta, Pechemignon

Hakodate

After opening our first shop in Tokyo in 1985, we moved to my late husband’s hometown of Hakodate, were we have been for the past 25 years. We continue to make authentic French pastries from the finest ingredients, just as they are in France. Nine years ago I took over the shop, and my son is now running our French sandwich shop, Gourmands Kanta. I plan to prepare French sandwiches and seasonal soups using Hokkaido ingredients, as well as cakes and baked pastries for travelers on Train Suite Shiki-shima. I hope guests will enjoy a lunch that lets them savor both delicious Hokkaido ingredients and the exotic atmosphere of Hakodate.

Hirosaki Wine and Antipasto Misto

Onboard the train* Aperitif time

Michiaki Sasamori

Osteria Enoteca Da Sasino

Hirosaki, Aomori

When I was studying in Italy, I came to appreciate the rich variety of regional cuisine as I sampled restaurants in each region, visited wineries, and shared meals in the homes of friends. In trying to recreate these regional flavors, I raise vegetables in my garden and make wine, ham, sausage, cheese, etc. myself. I started with growing grapes, and now make one variety of white wine and four to five varieties of red. Please enjoy the Hirosaki wine and antipasto misto as you watch the sun set across the sea of Japan and gaze at the beautiful scenery of the Shirakami mountain range.

* Provided onboard the Resort Shirakami train.

Preserving the Essence of Edo Cuisine in Akita

Onboard the train* Dinner

Hiroki Takamura

Japanese Restaurant Takamura

Akita

At 28, after training in the historic Takohachi restaurant in Mejiro Tokyo, I returned to my hometown in Akita to open my own store. Instead of changing the flavors and techniques learned from my master, I strive to preserve traditional Edo cuisine here in Akita. Back in the Edo period, Edo (Tokyo) must have seemed like a foreign country to people coming in from the countryside. My restaurant's style is to create that same feeling by using western ingredients in Edo cuisine. Not gaudy or showy, but beautiful. We are taking great pains to ensure that the food cooked in the onboard kitchen will be identical to that served in the restaurant.

* Provided onboard the Resort Shirakami train.

World Class Breakfast in Shonai, the Capital of Food

Onboard the train Breakfast

Masayuki Okuda

Al-che-cciano

Tsuruoka, Yamagata

The diverse terrain of Shounai in Yamagata is blessed with the riches of both the sea and the mountains. It has garnered attention for its rich variety of ingredients, with various fruits and vegetables produced year-round. Cradled by Mt. Chōkai and the Three Mountains of Dewa, the Shonai Plain area produces a diverse array of vegetables and livestock. Cold and warm currents mix at Shounai beach on the sea of Japan, attracting around 130 species, including local fish in season, into the nets of local fishermen. Using these ingredients from Shounai, I aim to create the world's finest breakfast. Enjoy a perfect moment as you watch the morning break over the Sea of Japan.

Bringing "Kiwami", the Essence of Niigata Sushi,
to Even Greater Heights

Onboard the train Lunch

Toshiya Yoshizawa

Sekaisushi

Niigata

"Kiwami" is a standard dish provided by the "Niigata prefecture sushi guild", a voluntary association in Niigata prefecture. Kiwami was created with the concept of making it easy to sample Niigata's seasonal delicacies. It features fish emblematic of Niigata such as black throat sea perch, fatty tuna and northern pink prawn, plus sea urchin, salmon roe, and other local seasonal fish all eaten with a premiere fish sauce. On Train Suite Shiki-shima we've condensed this "Kiwami" into a dish that further heightens the distinct flavor of Niigata sushi. I'd like to have guests enjoy the same fresh-made sushi served in our restaurant as they watch the landscape roll by outside the car window.

The unaltered flavor of Nabechaya Street in Niigata's Furumachi

Onboard the train Lunch

Norio Yokoyama

Sushi Cuisine Marui

Niigata

For over forty years, I've run a restaurant on Nabechaya street in Furumachi — a place that still recalls the traditional pleasure quarters of Niigata. With "always the highest level of freshness" as my motto, first thing each morning I visit the market in the city at Myogadani to select whitefish like black throat sea perch, northern pink prawn, Sado tuna, etc. Also, this year we have begun to use specially grown traditional koshihikari rice. I'm sure you'll be able to taste the difference in the flavor of the sushi rice. My shop is making ready to provide the taste of Niigata sushi, backed by tradition and formality, to guests onboard the train.

Seasonal Niigata Fish, Edomae Style

Onboard the train Lunch

Toichi Yamada

Sushiyasu

Niigata

Sushiyasu's style is to bring out various flavors of sushi made in the Tokyo Style of work I learned from my father before me. The fatty tuna is topped with a dollop of aromatic Shizuoka wasabi, and the red tuna is marinated. The northern pink prawn is eaten with fish sauce. Enjoy arrangements that capitalize on the flavor of whitefish like olive flounder and fivespot flounder seasoned with shio-ponzu (sea salt and citrus sauce), kimo-shoyu (soy sauce with fish liver), etc. Also try our hikarimono bo-zushi (rod-shaped sushi topped with large slice of silvery fish), and our castella rolled omelet. Finally, savor the lightly seasoned elegant small nigiri sushi — perfect for the end of a journey.

Taste the whole of Hokkaido in our Northern Kaiseki

Outside of the train Dinner/Breakfast

Kyoko Matsuhashi

Zaborin

Niseko

An inn standing in the middle of a primeval forest. This is a place where you can come together with nature and feel the changing of the seasons. There are just 15 rooms, each spacious and equipped with a continuously-flowing 100% natural spring water spa. The meals are prepared by a native Hokkaido chef using home-grown vegetables paired with edible wild plants and mushrooms collected by the staff forager. We hope you'll relish our "Northern Kaiseki" Japanese-style meals — as beautiful as paintings, and with a delicate flavor to match. We're sure it will satisfy even Train Suite Shiki-shima passengers, well versed in various foods in Japan and around the world.

Hot Springs and Cuisine Found Only in Noboribetsu

Outside of the train Dinner/Breakfast

Noriko Suga

Takinoya

Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu has so many varieties of hot springs that it is often called a "hot-spring department store". Takinoya itself has four different kinds, including a radium spring and a table salt spring. We hope Train Suite Shiki-shima passengers will enjoy taking a break in the middle of their journey to soak comfortably in the hot waters, and partake of delicious food amidst the gardens and forest planted by our first proprietor. For dinner, in addition to fresh sashimi and horsehair crab, we have a fruity desert that has received high praise. Breakfast includes rice, eggs, natto and other choice foods characteristic of a Japanese inn.

The blessings of the earth, Plentiful Niseko Vegetables

Outside of the train Dinner/Breakfast

Hiroshi Ogawa

Moku no sho

Niseko

Located in the resort area of Niseko, and wrapped in warmth from the surrounding trees, our hot spring and inn greet visitors with the promise of a relaxing stay in a second home. Meals are based around seasonal vegetables like potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms and edible wild plants. Sashimi caught in the nearby coastal waters is accompanied by fresh vegetables. And guests love the Takikomi gohan (mixed rice), made with local rankoshi rice and lily bulbs. They also like to gather around the fireplace in the evenings to roast marshmallows. We hope Train Suite Shiki-shima passengers will relish their stay in a Japanese inn as a distinct experience from the time they enjoy onboard the train.

World-renowned Yamanashi WineKofu Basin Vineyard [Day 1]

The drainage, sunlight and wind exposure are all good. Grapes have long been cultivated in the Kofu basin thanks to its ideal terrain and climate. Wine was first produced here during the Meiji period. At the time, two youths were dispatched to France to learn brewing techniques. Today there are around 80 wineries in Yamanashi Prefecture. In 2010 Japan's distinct Koshu grapes, cultivated here for over a thousand years, were registered as a variety of winemaking grapes by the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine) in Paris. As a result, Koshu wine has begun to be exported to many EU nations. With its fresh fruity taste and acidity Koshu wine is considered a good match for Japanese cuisine. And the level of attention it receives has risen dramatically over the past ten years.

The Moon Reflected with Subtle Grace in Terraced Rice FieldsObasute [Day 1]

These terraced rice fields gradually spread over slopes surrounding mountain villages harboring legends of Obasuteyama. In May and June, when the fields brim with water, the moon is reflected in the surface of each pool. That moon, known as the “every field moon”, holds an eternal aesthetic beauty. Gaze upon a spectacle recorded in countless paintings and Japanese poems such as haiku, tanka and waka.

Obstinate Spirit and Painstaking CareAizu Lacquerware [Day 2]

The history of Aizu Lacquerware began with the forced relocation of Gamo Ujisato. Gamo summoned woodturners and lacquerers from his previous domain of Oumi to join him, and the craft of Aizu lacquerware advanced rapidly. And a style of decoration called Aizu-e developed in the middle of the Edo period which gives the lacquerware a three dimensional appearance. People are spellbound by the splendor and three-dimensionality of the gold leaf lacquer decoration, looking almost as if it is dripping with lacquer. Savor Aizu delicacies on traditional lacquerware in the chilly morning air. These vessels brings out the carefully prepared simple flavors, conveying the obstinate character and painstaking care of Aizu.

In the tale of any journey,
one hungers for cuisine that lingers in memory.

The most anticipated pleasure of travelers on Train Suite Shiki-shima, must be the meals partaken on-board the train and at each destination. Breakfast, lunch and dinner each feature fare that reveals the peculiar contours of the regions we travel through. At each destination you’ll savor dishes prepared by chefs reared on the flavors and ingredients of that region, as you appreciate its beauty through the train windows. It will definitely be cuisine that lingers in your memory.

* The information listed in “Cuisine” is current as of June 2016.
* All photos are for illustrative purposes. They may differ from the meals actually served on each Train Suite Shiki-shima journey.

Katsuhiro Nakamura

Cuisine Supervisor, Train Suite Shiki-shima

In order to assemble a team of cooking staff that can provide the highest level of cuisine for Train Suite Shiki-shima, I’ve spent more than a year together with my long-time friend, executive chef Hitoshi Iwasaki, traveling eastern Japan to discover elite chefs to collaborate with us. Ingredients characteristic of an area prepared with the intuition of a chef with roots in the area result in exquisite cuisine like no other. And the entire cooking staff collaborates to deliver just the right volume and balance over three meals each day. I hope to create a dining space that has never before been seen: a “three star restaurant on wheels”.

Hitoshi Iwasaki

Executive Chef, Train Suite Shiki-shima

As executive chef of Train Suite Shiki-shima, I visited collaborating restaurants around eastern Japan along with cuisine supervisor Katsuhiro Nakamura, to determine how to stage the story of each region’s food. And I'll also let patrons taste some of my own cooking during each course. At home in Tokyo, I've discovered many choice ingredients hosting an East Japan regional ingredients fair four times a year for the past nine years at the Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi. I apply this repertory to our menu, creating unique meals representative of each destination. My hope is that the meals will be one of the best memories of the trip for our guests.

The culinary riches of Aizu partaken on traditional "Aizu lacquerware"

Outside of the train Breakfast

Yukiko Baba

Takino

Aizu-Wakamatsu

In Aizu, an area rich in traditional Samurai culture, we greet guests with regional cuisine in a 250 year old military encampment building which has received the prefecture's Architectural Culture Award. We've begun to prepare fresh vegetables, specially grown by local farmers, in order to serve meals characteristic of Aizu onboard Train Suite Shiki-shima. Enjoy the freshly dug bamboo shoots, warabi and other mountain produce collected that morning, together with Aizu’s local “kozuyu” dish served on traditional Aizu lacquerware. We hope you'll experience Aizu's simplicity, and the obstinate spirit of the craftsmen in each bite of your breakfast.

Savor the Terroir of Tochigi with French Cuisine

Onboard the train Lunch

Kazunori Otowa

Otowa Restaurant

Tochigi

For me the most important thing is to express the ingredients and natural features of the region. When I was training at "Alain Chapel" in the village Mionnay on the outskirts of Lyon, I was struck at how much pride the local people took in their home town. That's when I decided I wanted to open a restaurant in my own hometown of Utsunomiya. Using ingredients such as Rainbow trout, Tochigi beef and local vegetables, I’ve built up my own expression of the region. It’s been 35 years since I put down roots in Utsunomiya. To culminate this time, I want to set a table on Train Suite Shiki-shima that expresses the region of Tochigi, and am generating ideas to that end.

Your Journey on Train Suite Shiki-shima Your Journey on Train Suite Shiki-shima

Train Suite Shiki-shima offers you a prime view of Japan's rich, beautiful natural scenery, the local industries of each region and the unique culture that permeates Japanese people's daily lives. See the diverse seasonal beauty of Japan from the unique vantage point of a luxury train.

Prologue Shiki-shima Prologue Shiki-shima

Located at Ueno Station where your journey will begin, Prologue Shiki-shima is a luxurious lounge where you can enjoy various drinks and light refreshments. Relax and enjoy the first taste of your experience on Train Suite Shiki-shima. Opening in Spring 2017 Located at Ueno Station where your journey will begin, Prologue Shiki-shima is a luxurious lounge where you can enjoy various drinks and light refreshments. Relax and enjoy the first taste of your experience on Train Suite Shiki-shima. Opening in Spring 2017
Prologue Shiki-shima
4 Day / 3 Night Trip Spring-Autumn
4 Day / 3 Night Trip Spring-Autumn
2 Day / 1 Night Trip Spring - Autumn
2 Day / 1 Night Trip Spring - Autumn
3 Day / 2 Night Trip Winter 3 Day / 2 Night Trip Winter
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Eastern Japan takes on a whole new look when it's blanketed in snow. Take in the exquisite snowy scenery and rediscover all the things you love about winter. Trip Application