Luxurious Restaurant Train lets you have a fantastic traveling time
The fifty two seats of happiness is a travelling restaurant operated by Seibu Railway”, served between Seibu-Ikebukuro Station/Seibu-Shinjuku Station in Central Tokyo, and Seibu-Chichibu Station in Chichibu.
One of the advantages of this “restaurant” is that it departs from Central Tokyo, and it allows those who want to escape from busy Tokyo and feel extravagant on the weekend to satisfy themselves right after stepping onto the train.
Designed by Kengo Kuma, the renowned Japanese architect, everything inside/outside of this train has exquisite taste in a luxury style, has a harmony with nature brought by applying traditional craft techniques.
Using fresh ingredients produced locally, chefs from famous restaurants get on board to serve their specials in a course menu. The course menu varies every three months in accordance with the season.
For drinks, there are various Chichibu-born alcohols are available with an extra order, including sake, wine, plum wine, and whisky. The brand whisky “Ichiro’s Malt for fifty two seats of happiness” PB is exclusively served on this train.
This train has 52 seats, all reserved in advance. Branch (10000* JP Yen incl.tax) and Dinner (15000* JP Yen incl.tax) courses are provided. The train schedule can be checked on the official website https://www.seiburailway.jp/railways/seibu52-shifuku/ where you will find information on how to make a reservation in English.
What will you do after enjoying the cuisine?
If you take a brunch train of fifty two seats of happiness from Central Tokyo, you will arrive Seibu-Chichibu Station early in the afternoon. Since the ticket of the restaurant train comes with a one-day pass, you can take a little tour along the Seibu Line on the way home after the branch.
Or, another suggestion is that you head to an idyllic, tranquil town and soaks in Onsen for retreat.
Unique accommodations in Ogano Town
Ogano Town, about a 40-min bus ride from Seibu-Chichibu Station, is a town with old farmhouses preserving the atmosphere of the flourished days in Chichibu.
Miyamoto-so http://www.miyamotoke.jp/english/, a Japanese style accommodation/hot springs facility, is operated by the owner who is a former Sumo wrestler. You can find many sumo-related items displayed here and there inside of the facilities. Also, the accommodation includes old farmhouses and storehouses where guests can wine and dine in Japanese "Zen" style.
The open-air bath at Miyamoto-so, looks like a Sumo ring
The picture of Yokozuna Sumo wrestler was formerly at the Ryogoku Sumo Arena.
Irori fireplace at Miyamoto-so. Irori used to be a dining place where all family members get to gather.
The peaceful atmosphere of the countryside in Ogano Town fascinates people from a busy city.
Ogano has other unique Japanese inns, and the one is Echigoya Ryokan (http://www.echigoya.gr.jp/) known as an inn where Igo and Shogi lovers stay and gather to play. Those who are interested Japanese culture, staying at this type of unique inns will be a good experience.
Matsurinoyu Onsen Hot Springs
Seibu-Chichibu Station has a complex facility Matsurino-yu http://www.seibu-leisure.co.jp/matsuri/ that includes hot springs bathing halls, food court and shopping area.
Not only Onsen hot springs, but several types of bathing facilities are also provided; Soda bath, Bedrock bath, silky water bath and Sauna.
The lounge, you can use without extra fee, has comfy sheets all equipped with TV. If you want to have more privacy, you can rent a premium room with extra fees. For those wanting to overnight there, the lounges are available with an accommodation fee (Prior booking is required for the premium lounge).
The food court has shops offering local delicacies, such as Waraji Katsudon, Soba noodle with walnut sauce, and Horumon BBQ. To order a food, you can buy a ticket from a vending machine available in Japanese and English.