Japan's ultra-luxurious train hits the tracks for its maiden journey

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Image source, JR East
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The Train Suite Shiki-shima is designed to give you the ultimate luxury experience - but you'll need some loose change to afford it: tickets range from $2,860 (£2,220) to around $10,000 and you can choose between a two- or four-day trip.
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The Shiki-shima had its maiden journey on 1 May. The train was built to the plans of designer Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama and is being advertised as using only the best of materials, many linked to traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
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The futuristic observation car lets you relax and sip a glass of champagne, while outside the Japanese countryside zips past. The train will take you from Tokyo to the northernmost island Hokkaido.
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There's room for 34 passengers on the train so you know you won't have to compete for a seat with a good view.
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Here's where you'll take your nap after a long day of over-indulging in luxury. There are trips with one or three nights on board to choose from.
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The plans for the train were announced by the East Japan Railway Company in 2014 and there has been crazy demand now the train is finally here. A lottery for seats on launch day was said to have been over-subscribed by a factor of 76.
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Clearly, the futuristic high-end hotel on tracks has hit the spot - tickets for the 10-car train are sold out until March 2018.
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Fancy a bite? The food will be prepared by - who else? - Michelin star chefs and presented by uniformed butlers.
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Everything on board aims to rival the experience of a top-end luxury hotel.
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You say it's just another way for rich folks who don't know what to do with their money? Oh let it go, just grab a drink and have a seat by the fire...

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