Japan's Tokyu to launch new tourist train to Izu next summer
TOKYO -- Japanese railway operator Tokyu has unveiled the details of a new tourist train that will go into operation in July next year.
Starting just south of Tokyo from Yokohama Station, located in Kanagawa Prefecture, the train will run southwest to Izu Peninsula, a vacation destination in Shizuoka Prefecture. The three-hour ride between Yokohama and Izukyu-Shimoda stations will cost between 20,000 yen and 30,000 yen ($180 and $270) per passenger. Each car will have a different use and design.
Tokyu plans to spend several hundred million yen to upgrade an existing 8-car train, the Alpha Resort 21, which has been running since 1993, and rename it as the Royal Express. The new train will be designed by Eiji Mitooka, who designed the Seven Stars luxury train for Kyushu Railway.
The company is targeting families and seniors. The first and second cars will have a ball pool and bookshelves containing children's books, among other items, to keep children entertained during the journey. The seventh and eighth cars will feature designs using a lot of wood, aimed at giving elderly riders a pleasing experience. These cars will "evoke the feeling of being in Izu's forests," Mitooka said.
The train will be equipped with a kitchen and dining car. One car will be designed with no seats, leaving it open as an event space for holding concerts or exhibitions. The train can be fully reserved for a private wedding as well.
With the introduction of the new train, Tokyu also plans renovations for the Izu resort area. Shimoda Tokyu Hotel will reopen on March 17 after being refurbished. A commercial facility atop a nearby hill, accessible by cable car, is also scheduled to be remodeled to offer tourists better views of Shimoda Bay. At Yokohama Station, Tokyu will open an exclusive lounge and a cafe for passengers.