Yume Kukan Luxury Carriages

A bit of stylish history in Shin Misato

By Sleiman Azizi    - 2 min read

Japan has a thing for trains and if you spend any reasonable amount of time in the country, you soon learn to appreciate that 'thing'. In Japan, trains work, they can be relied upon and the people who work with them take their vocations seriously.

It therefore came as no surprise to come across two decommissioned luxury lounge and dining carriages on the ground floor of LaLaport Shin Misato shopping centre way out in Saitama prefecture. The two carriages are part of three JR East Railway company luxury cars that were in operation for two decades from the late 1980s.

Entrance to the lounge car
Entrance to the lounge car

Part of an overnight sleeping service that once ran between Ueno in Tokyo and Sapporo, Hokkaido, the carriages included a dining car, a lounge car and a sleeping car. When they were decommissioned in early 2008, the sleeping car ended up in Koto Ward in Tokyo as part of a French restaurant while the dining and lounge carriages were sent to sit out their days in Shin Misato.

The Yume Kukan Lounge car
The Yume Kukan Lounge car

Of the two carriages in Shin Misato, only the lounge carriage is open to the public. Its once luxury design and fittings serving as a comfortable relaxation and dining space for those visiting the LaLaport shopping centre, the interior features plenty of seating as well as a toilet, drinks bar and piano. The latter three, though closed, add that little bit of style and sophistication that was once the hallmark of such carriages. The dining carriage, sitting proudly on the other side of the shopping centre, was closed at the time of our visit.

Lounge car interior
Lounge car interior

A nice tribute to Japan's luxury train history, the two carriages make for a lovely little side trip when shopping in Shin Misato and for train aficionados, are an exciting peek into the world of luxury travel.

Getting there

Take the JR Musashino Line to Shin Misato Station. The shopping centre is a 1-minute walk from the West Exit of the station. The two carriages, though each located on opposite sides of the shopping centre, are easily accessible.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

A Japanese Permanent Resident, I have over 500 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style. I happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, so if you've anything to say about Japan's never ending capital - or just Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S 9 months ago
Awesome place for photos, pretending to be a passenger!
Sleiman Azizi Author 9 months ago
Pretending? lol
Kim 9 months ago
Sleiman Azizi Author 9 months ago
Oh, it is. And then the kids get inside!
Elena Lisina 9 months ago
Looks like the '19th century luxury! :) We have trains that ride for 6 days, for instance from Moscow to Vladivostok, also with places for sleep and restaurants, but with simpler design. My longest train ride lasted 3 days & nights - to the Black Sea.
Sleiman Azizi Author 9 months ago
A good book helps :)