It’s hard to believe that Japan, long associated with jam-packed trains, can offer decadently spacious rail travel. But take a look at the upcoming luxury sleeper train by East Japan Railway Co (JR East), and you’ll see that it does indeed know how to pamper in style.

The train, which is scheduled to begin operation in the first quarter of 2017 and accommodate just 34 passengers, was designed by Ken Okuyama, a wizard at creating anything with wheels. His portfolio includes heavyweights like Ducati, Ferrari and Maserati, and he has also conceptualised other trains, robots, theme parks and home ware. This newest project benefits from Okuyama’s pedigreed experience, boasting sleek contours and exceptionally large windows so passengers “can enjoy the flow of time and space”.

Guests can enjoy said flow in the viewing areas on either end of the 10-car train, or in the dining and lounge cars. Six cars have been dedicated to guest rooms, five of which contain three suites each. The car you really want, however, is one of two deluxe suites. It’s actually less like a room and more like a small apartment, as it’s big enough to have a split level and includes two beds, a living room, bathtub and a separate guest room.

The privatisation of Japan’s railways in the mid-1980s gave rail companies the freedom to make truly unique designer trains. Playground-like trains like the Asoboy and more cultural ones like the Tsubame – complete with wooden blinds and kimono-style fabric – are popular for those who wanted to visit the different regions. But JR East’s new train could be a response to a new demand and resulting supply of ritzy rides, thanks to recent contenders like the Seven Stars in Kyushu launched last year, and JR West’s plan for a similar exclusive offering to run in 2017. Whatever the motivation, it’s clear that rail travel is becoming glamorous once again.