ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Japan's hit luxury trains face long journey to profitability

Hefty investments create uphill climb for railway operators

East Japan Railway's luxe Train Suite Shiki-Shima.

TOKYO -- New luxury train tours have proven a hit in Japan among travelers who can afford them, selling out nearly a year in advance. But heavy upfront outlays mean railways have many a trip to make before these prize businesses will turn a profit.

Since East Japan Railway's Train Suite Shiki-Shima, an opulent sleeper, first rolled out of Tokyo on May 1, more than 1,500 passengers are estimated to have ridden, paying as much as 950,000 yen ($8,300) for the privilege. Trains leave twice a week and carry up to 34 passengers. A four-day, three-night trip through Japan's northeast and the island of Hokkaido, complete with sightseeing stops along the way, has proven particularly popular among older travelers for the convenience it offers.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more