Tokyo’s Ueno Station has got a “Hogwarts Express” similar to that of the Harry Potter franchise, which you can find on a platform that is actually located in between two platforms. The two differences are: the train will allow anybody and not just wizards to take a ride, and the platform is numbered 13 ½ instead of the famous 9 ¾ as shown in the series. If you are ready for a new luxury train experience in Japan, read on to find out about this “magical” train!
A beautiful drawing of the Hogwarts Express with Hogwarts looming in the background. pic.twitter.com/G92DOYcVrv
— Harry Potter Universe (@HPotterUniverse) March 4, 2018
Ever since the Harry Potter books came out, everybody got hooked on them, thus making the franchise really popular. If you have watched any of the Harry Potter movies or read one of its books, you must have known the cryptic 9 ¾ platform that the main lead, Harry, and his friends with wizard blood could only use. The scene where the Hogwarts Express shows up was shot at the famous King’s Cross Station in London, United Kingdom.
If you look for that mystic platform at the train stations in the UK, you would be disappointed to see nothing but a hard wall. However, as popular culture spreads, East Japan Railway (JR East) has decided to build an in-between platform in Tokyo, only accessible to the well off.
Started operating in May 2017, the Train Suite Shiki-shima is the epitome of luxury travel. It was designed by the same guy who worked as a designer for Ferrari, namely Kiyoyuki “Ken” Okuyama, and it contains suites similar to that of a high-end hotel. With glass panels that allow you to capture panoramic views and suites that contain bathtubs, fireplaces, chandeliers and whatnot, a night trip on this train costs approximately 500,000 yen per head for a suite and 700,000 yen per head for a maisonette-type premium space. The train is actually seasonal and prior application is required to embark on a two- to four-day journey to far-off places in Japan.
The ticketing period is currently ongoing, and you can try to apply for a journey between December 2018 and March 2019. However, since the train has a maximum occupancy of just 34 persons, your application could end up in a lucky draw. You can try to apply here until April 30, 2018.
There are also limousine services for passengers to reach the point of departure. Try to arrive early and relax at their prestigious lounge that is present at the boarding platform 13 ½ at Ueno Station.
— KEN OKUYAMA DESIGN (@KenODesign) June 9, 2015
Known as Prologue Shiki-shima, the waiting lounge present at the station is a high-end relaxation place where you can get to feel the onset of luxury. With food and beverage comparable to any Michelin-starred restaurant, this lounge prepares you in every way for an awesome journey ahead.
There is also a lounge on the train, namely “Komorebi,” where you can chill while listening to music composed by Naoki Sato, who is known for his many anime series renditions.
If you are hungry, you can order some of the finest food selected by Katsuhiro Nakamura, a Japanese chef who has cooked for world leaders.
Enjoy every bit of luxury while traveling on this futuristic train filled with amazing amenities that will take you on a journey to Northern Japan. If you can spot this train, needless to say, the best train pictures you will ever have are assured.