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Travel & Leisure

Royal Express $6,000 rail tour offers shot in arm to JR Hokkaido

Tokyu adds luxury route through bucolic island in tie-up with struggling operator

The Royal Express will travel to Hokkaido this summer for luxury tours starting at $6,000. (Photo by Toru Takahashi)

SAPPORO, Japan -- Rail operator Tokyu has teamed up with Hokkaido Railway to roll out luxury Royal Express train tours through the northern island for hefty price tags starting at 680,000 yen ($6,179).

Five tours are planned from Aug. 14 through mid-September, with each lasting four days and three nights. The trips, which start and end in Sapporo, will go through scenic routes that include dairy farms in Tokachi, the vast Kushiro Marsh that is home to rich wildlife and Furano's lavender fields.

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