Shinkansen to introduce luxury private rooms on Tokyo-Osaka-Hakata route by 2026

Shinkansen to introduce luxury private rooms on Tokyo-Osaka-Hakata route by 2026

TOKYO: Starting in fiscal 2026, Central Japan Railway Co. will offer special seats in dedicated rooms on Shinkansen bullet trains linking Tokyo, Osaka and Hakata, catering to growing demand for luxury and privacy on rail journeys.

The company plans to install two private rooms per bullet train, equipped with reclining seats with footrests. Passengers will have access to Wi-Fi and can adjust settings such as lighting, air conditioning and audio to their preference, Kyodo News Agency reported.

The new seats, to be installed on some N700S trains, will enhance the travel experience, surpassing the already premium ‘green car’ seats.

The operator is considering offering the new service between Tokyo and Hakata, a ward in the city of Fukuoka in the southwestern prefecture of the same name.

Around 10 per cent of the roughly 130 Shinkansen trains could have private rooms installed, each available for one or two passengers.

“We will make sure necessary hardware is in place to cater to the diversifying needs of our customers,“ JR Central President Shunsuke Niwa told a recent press conference in Tokyo.

Tokaido Shinkansen trains used to have private rooms, but they were abolished to increase the number of seats in 2003 when the 100-series cars went out of service. Shinkansen bullet trains are among the most popular forms of public transport in Japan.

The country is pinning hopes on inbound tourism to help drive economic growth, after the tourism sector was pounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. – Bernama, Kyodo


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