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Wednesday, 15th June 2016
In Japan Travel News,

New sightseeing train with panoramic windows launched in Niigata Prefecture

An innovative train that has replaced its walls with panoramic windows for allowing better views of the landscape has been launched in Niigata Prefecture.

The Echigo Tokimeki Resort Setsugekka train is a collaborative project between Japanese companies Ichibansen and Nextstations.

It has begun offering rides in the western region of Niigata Prefecture, with enough room on board to accommodate 45 seated passengers.

In the first car, travellers can take in the superb views while lounging in high-spec chairs and sofas, all facing the stunning scenery outside of the huge windows.

Materials used for the interiors have been sourced locally as much as possible, with the timber coming from Niigata Prefecture, as well as Kawara tile, which is native to the region.

The second carriage has been set up as a French restaurant, with delicious meals served up to accompany the vistas.

While many of the passengers will be seeing the likes of Mount Myoko as it goes by, it may well be the workings of the train that interests others.

They will be able to take a seat just behind the driver and as the partition separating this viewing area and the man in control is made out of transparent glass, they’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on.

Fares start at £40, while a package including a meal comes in at £100, but the high quality finish of the interior more than justifies the price tag.

Echigo Tokimeki Resort Setsugekka offers the perfect antidote to Japan’s famous bullet trains, which race through the landscape leaving little time to take in the surroundings.

At present, the train has the largest windows of any in operation in the country, although a so-called invisible train is currently under development