Japan Trains

The Twilight Express Mizukaze: 8 Things you need to know before riding this train in Japan

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Japan knows a thing or two about train travel. With 8,579 train stations across the country, the Japanese have perfected every aspect of train travel down to how quickly you can get to your destination. In fact, the Shinkansen bullet trains are so fast, the need for overnight train travel in Japan has all but disappeared, making this way of travel almost obsolete.

Enter Japanese luxury train travel, where the journey is the destination. The sleeper trains of the past are no longer a necessity in Japanese society, but that doesn’t mean this way of travel can’t be enjoyed. Conversely, with the Twilight Express Mizukaze, it is celebrated.

You can book a ticket for a one or two night stay aboard this train and have an experience that transcends any you have had before. Forget everything you know about train travel, because this is a trip that will be like no other.

Is the Twilight Express Mizukaze the most luxurious train trip in Japan?

The Twilight Express Mizukaze is one of the most luxurious train trips in Japan. With astonishing attention to detail, extraordinary craftsmanship and a yearning to please its guests, the Twilight Express Mizukaze is a decadent trip that will surprise even the most seasoned traveler.

Twilight Express Mizukaze

How much does the Twilight Express Mizukaze cost?

The Twilight Express Mizukaze costs between $2,800 and $5,500 per person. You can embark on a one night two day travel itinerary or a two night, three day itinerary. The route will take you along the landscape of western Japan and return along the sea of Japan, so the scenery will always be changing.

If you would like to book a trip on this highly sought after train, you must do two things. First, you must book your trip inside of Japan. No tickets are issued to anyone on foreign soil. Second, you must apply for the lottery for a chance to win a spot on the train. Now, that is exclusive!

Where does the Twilight Express Mizukaze travel?

The Twilight Express Mizukaze travels through the Western Portion of Japan, introducing you to the sights of five distinctive journeys. Choose one itinerary or do a round trip tour.

Sanin Shimonoseki Course by way of Osaka

This 326-mile six hour tour will take you from Osaka to Shimonoseki. During your trip you will enjoy viewing 165 works by the world famous Kyoto painter Maruyama Okyo and his apprentices who have perfected the magic of the mandala presented in interesting and beautiful ways. You will fall in love with the landscape of western Japan with stops in Kasumi and Hagi before making it to your destination in Shimonoseki.

Sanin Shimonoseki Course by way of Kyoto

An alternative Sanin course exists where you will start at Kyoto and ride the 343 miles and almost 7 hours to Shimonoseki. This line will take you to the gorgeous Kinosaki Onsen which was established and developed over 1,300 years ago. Walk around the town and visit the Yakushi-an Hall of the ancient Onsen-ji Temple. Pass by the Higashihama Global Geo Park and see one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Additionally don’t miss getting photos of the Amarube Viaduct, the most famous bridge in Japan.

Sanyo Shimonoseki Course by way of Shin-Osaka

On this trip from Shin-Osaka to Shimonoseki , you will travel 324 miles in a little over 6 hours where you will learn about the history of the Setouchi area. Your stops for sighseeing will be in Kurashiki and Iwakuni. On this trip you will be treated to the spectacular scenery of Setonaikai National Park. The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the Onomichi Channel and the Seto Inland Sea are just some of the stunning views of this coastal park.

Sanyo Shimonoseki Course by way of Osaka

This course will start from Osaka Station and end in to Shimonoseki, with the same mileage as the Setouchi history tour. You will travel through the national park, but stop in differing cities such as Onomichi and Miyajima. In Miyajima, you will be able to view a treasure collection as well as be entertained by performance art that both date back 1,000 years.

Sanyo/Sanin Course- Round-Trip Tour

If you take the Sanyo/Sanin Course, you will be able to enjoy all of the above in a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy three days and two nights aboard the Twilight Express Mizukaze as you travel the circumference of the Western portion of Japan. Scenic ocean views, ancient shrines, iconic structures and gorgeous beaches will dominate the landscape.

What is dining like on the Twilight Express Mizukaze?

A team of chefs that are at the top of their craft make the Twilight Express Mizukaze just that much more special. Each brings a unique talent brought from their training and experience that makes the cuisine one of the best parts of the journey.

Expect meals that are prepared from the local ingredients by which you will travel. Not only delightful to the tastebuds, but a work of art, meals from Japan, France and Italy will be served by the staff that is there for your every need.

Does the Twilight Express Mizukaze have a bar?

The Twilight Express Mizukaze has a Lounge Car classically named the Salon De L’ouest. You can experience a Japanese Tea Ceremony or sit back with your favorite cocktail. There’s one thing for sure. Drinking your favorite beverage has never been so exciting.

What are the sleeper cars like on the Twilight Express Mizukaze?

The sleeper cars on the Twilight Express Mizukaze are like a five-star hotel in any major city in the world. Art Deco is the style of this modern yet nostalgic train that has kept the essence of the former Twilight Express in which the new train is emulating.

Cars 2,3,4,8 and 9 are the Royal Twin sleeper cars that include two twin retractable beds as well as an area for reading or eating and enjoying the view. Warm woods from the regions in which you are traveling are included to bring the outside in, making it feel like a larger space.

The Suite is the ultimate in train travel with a full bath complete with a marble bathroom and a tub with a view, two full beds, a living room and even a private balcony where you can really see and feel the scenes before you.

Is there an observatory car on the Twilight Express Mizukaze?

There are two observatory cars on each end of the train. Each has windows that extend to the ceiling so that you can fully submerse yourself in your surroundings. See the green and blue of nature by day and the stars and moon by night. Relax in a comfortable seat that faces the outdoors. Don’t forget to visit the observation deck for some fresh air and a chance to be one with nature.

Is the Twilight Express Mizukaze worth it?

The Twilight Express Mizukaze is absolutely worth it. This trip will show you the best of Western Japan in the most extravagant of ways. Whether you take two or three days to take a trip, you will still be able to enjoy everything that this modern train with a historical flair has to offer.

Wendy Edwards
Wendy is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. But for the past seven years she has traveled by RV to many National Parks, monuments and everywhere in between. She and her family of five, a furry canine friend and a bearded dragon have crossed the United States thirty one times. She never tires of hiking, biking, camping and photographing this beautiful country.