JR East has unveiled the new E261 Saphir Odoriko Express trains ahead of their official launch on March 14th 2020. The first-class-only train service running to the spa resorts of the Izu peninsula is to feature brand new super luxury cars and a livery redesign.
The new blue paint job has been primarily chosen to signify the blue ocean and sky of the Izu Peninsula and Shizuoka Prefecture where the train travels to. However, it is also partly inspired by the French word for Sapphire which the service was named after.
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What’s on board the Luxury Saphir Odoriko Express?
The new Odoriko service will run as an eight-car train that can carry 164 passengers. The configuration has been specially designed to focus on a super luxury experience and enhancing the comfort of passengers.
The first carriage is a Premium Green Car of just 20 seats, whilst the 2nd and 3rd consist of private cabins for 4-6 people. There is a cafeteria car in the 4th serving noodles cooked to customer order and the final 4 cars feature conventional Green Car seating.
Route and schedule
The Saphir Odoriko express trains will run between Tokyo (Tokyo station and Shinjuku station) to its final destination in Izukyu Shimoda in Shizuoka. This follows the previous Odoriko Super View Express route and offers passengers the chance to enjoy travel to and from the famous hot spring spa resorts in the Izu Peninsula in an even greater level of stylish comfort.
Operates every day:
- Saphir Odoriko 1: From Tokyo to Izukyu Shimoda
- Saphir Odoriko 2: From Izukyu Shimoda to Tokyo
- Saphir Odoriko 3: [Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays] From Tokyo station to Izukyu Shimoda
- Saphir Odoriko 4: [Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays] From Izukyu Shimoda to Tokyo station
- Saphir Odoriko 5: [Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays] From Shinjuku station to Izukyu Shimoda
Check the latest timetables before plan your trip.
How frequently the trains run?
The new E261 Saphir Odoriko trains will replace the older 251 Super View Odoriko express trains that have been used between the Tokyo metropolitan area and Izukuya Shimoda previously.
They will run on a similar schedule too with 3 services per day going to and from Tokyo and the Izu Peninsula with around a 2.5-3 hour journey time. As a result of their replacement, the 251 series Odoriko trains are to be withdrawn from service and scrapped.
The new E261 Odoriko trains unfortunately will not be covered by the regular JR Pass, which does not include Green Car train travel, you will need a Green Pass.
If you want to experience the first carriage Premium Green Car, you will need to pay the full fare (¥11,430). However, the experience of traveling on this luxury train service is certain to be an opulent experience for passengers who do make the trip.