The most anticipated pleasure of travelers on Train Suite Shiki-shima, must be the meals partaken on-board the train and at each destination.
Your Journey on
2 Day/1 Night Trip Spring - Autumn
Step back to a Japan of old and experience its rich traditions.
On this overnight trip, "enjoy a journey through idyllic scenery containing mountain villages, terraced rice paddies and vineyards, while also admiring the beautiful crafts and artwork of each region on route."
Enzan (Yamanashi Prefecture), Day 1
- Ueno Station [Departure 9:15AM]
- Enzan Station [Arrival 11:47AM]
- Zabo, Fuefukigawa-Onsen Hot Springs (Lunch)
- Miyakoen (Stop over for sightseeing)
- Chateau Lumiere (Wine seminar)
- Enzan Station [Departure 4:37PM]
Learn all about Yamanashi wine and try the region's best varieties.
- Yamanashi Wine Guides (Wine Concierges)
One of these three highly knowledgeable wine concierges will accompany you from Enzan Station and share their extensive knowledge of Yamanashi wine and other wines from Yamanashi Prefecture.
Masaaki Nitta is the proprietor of Katsunuma Winery Market Nitta Shouten, a local winery in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture.
He is extremely well versed in Yamanashi wines and winemakers, and is also a critic of Koshu wines.
Yasunobu Komaki is a representative of Komaki Vineyard.
He is also a part-time lecturer at Yamanashi Gakuin Junior College, and has been a sommelier for Imperial Hotel for around 30 years.
He was the sommelier to be accredited by JSA.
Ken Hasebe has several qualifications, including accreditation as a wine advisor from SOPEXA, Yamanashi Prefecture's first French food promotion association.
He promotes Japanese wines through various activities such as seminars.
- Zabo, Fuefukigawa-Onsen Hot Springs
Enjoy an exquisite pairing of Koshu wine and chakaiseki haute cuisine at Zabo, a restaurant operated by Marquis Winery, the oldest Japanese winery still in existence. The restaurant has a stunning view of the historic region of Koshu-Enzan and the Fuefuki River, with Mt. Fuji and the Yamanashi area as a backdrop. You'll be served Japanese haute cuisine by the head chef of Kaiseki Maruki in a former house built 140 years ago.
Miyakoen is a complex containing a tourist vineyard and Miyazaki Winery, a winery that was established in the home of Japanese wine pioneer Kotaro Miyazaki.
Visit what could be called the birthplace of Japanese winemaking and learn about the history and culture of Japanese wine.
- Chateau Lumiere
Attend a wine seminar by a concierge with extensive knowledge of Koshu wine. Lumiere Winery is one of Japan's oldest and most distinguished wineries, and has won many prestigious international awards.
The seminar includes a tasting of Koshu wines and other local wines, with canapés by Shoji Hirota, the Grand Chef of the winery's restaurant Zelkova.
Obasute (Nagano Prefecture), Day 1
- Obasute Station [Arrival 8:41PM]
- View of Zenkoji Plain from special lounge in the station
- Obasute Station [Departure 9:34PM]
Night View of Zenkoji Plain from Obasute Station/Night View Lounge/Zigzagging Track
The view of Zenkoji Plain from Obasute Station has long been known as one of the three best views from a vehicle window in Japan, along with the Yatake crossing on the Hisatsu Line (Kyushu) and Karikachi Pass on the former Nemuro Main Line (Hokkaido). Train Suite Shiki-shima approaches Obasute Station along a zigzagging track that can usually only be experienced on local trains. Take in the stunning night view while enjoying a drink in a special lounge by the platform, made with plenty of Nagano wood.
Kitakata and Aizu-Wakamatsu (Fukushima Prefecture), Day 2
- Kitakata Station [Arrival 6:16AM]
- Kappo Takino (Breakfast)
- Suzuzen Lacquerware shop
- Aizu-Wakamatsu Station [Departure 11:22AM]
- Ueno Station [Arrival 4:53PM]
Breakfast at Takino, a restaurant serving local cuisine from the Aizu region
Admire the craftsmanship of Aizu lacquerware at Suzuzen Lacquerware shop.
After departing Nagano Station on the previous night, we will pass through Niigata Prefecture and stop at Kitakata Station in the early morning on the way to Aizu. Enjoy an early morning walk in the area around the station.
In Aizu-Wakamatsu, you'll enjoy breakfast at Takino, a traditional kappo restaurant serving local cuisine from the Aizu region. You'll then explore the vivid world of Aizu lacquerware, a craft with around 400 years of history, and see how lacquerware store Suzuzen Lacquerware has kept this craft alive in a traditional building.
*All photos are for illustrative purposes.
In the tale of any journey,
one hungers for cuisine that lingers in memory.
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.
Introduction of staff providing a fantastic flavors
Overall Cuisine Supervisor
As a means to assemble a great team of cooking staff that provide the best possible level of cuisine for Train Suite Shiki-shima, I have spent more than one year together with my long-time friend, Hitoshi Iwasaki, traveling and eating in the eastern Japan region to discover elite chefs to collaborate and work with us. Ingredients that are characteristic of an area prepared with the intuition of a chef with actual roots in an area result in the most exquisite cuisine. Also, the entire cooking staff will collaborate to deliver just the right volumes and balance for all three meals of the day. My aim is to create a dining environment that has never been witnessed before, or in fact a “Three-star restaurant on wheels.”
The first executive chef of Train Suite Shiki-shima and now cuisine supervisor
As Executive Chef on Train Suite Shiki-shima, I visited a number of collaborating restaurants around eastern Japan with the Overall Cuisine Supervisor, Katsuhiro Nakamura, to best determine how to stage a narrative for each region’s food. I also made sure to serve some meals on the train. Beginning in the spring of 2019, I will extend support as a Cuisine Supervisor in conjunction with Nakamura, with our real intention that all meals served during the trip will be great memories for the guests, whether on board Train Suite Shiki-shima or not. Please enjoy a new world of cuisine imagined and planned by Shigeru Sato who has taken on the important role of Executive Chef.
Executive chef of Train Suite Shiki-shima
Succeeding cuisine and numerous considerations on Train Suite Shiki-shima, which have been built up by the supervisors, Nakamura and Iwasaki, I will create meals of imaginative narrativity, with great attention to the ingredients and a culture unique to each area. I am from Akita in northeastern Japan, which means that I have such a commitment, and always do my very best to highlight the most attractive points of each area through my cuisine. I am very much looking forward to welcoming the guests to Train Suite Shiki-shima.
- Outside of the train
Charyori Kaiseki Maruki (Fuefukigawa-Onsen Hot Springs Bettei Zabou)
As you dine on charyori (kaiseki cuisine, or Japanese haute cuisine), you can get a taste for traditional Japanese hospitality based on the concept of wakei seijaku (harmony, respect, purity and tranquility). This concept permeates the seasonal cuisine and accompanying tea ceremony. I believe that the most important thing is to express the feeling of each season and use carefully honed techniques to bring out the true flavor of the ingredients. You can also partake in wine from Koshu Katsunuma's Marquis Winery, the oldest Japanese winery still in existence. Three sommeliers have carefully selected Marquis Wine especially for the guests of Train Suite Shiki-shima. Enjoy this special marriage of wine and charyori that is deeply rooted in the local climate and culture.
- Outside of the train
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.
- Onboard the train
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.