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The Japanese train that’s like a LIVING ROOM on wheels

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Japan’s railway network can seemingly do no wrong.

It has ultra-fast bullet trains – and it operates this extraordinary living room on wheels.

The interior has sofa-like seats, soft lighting and huge panoramic windows. Plus there’s an artificial marble floor in the entrances so guests feel extra special.

The Japanese Laview commuter train has sofa-like seats, soft lighting and huge panoramic windows
The Japanese Laview commuter train has sofa-like seats, soft lighting and huge panoramic windows

The outside is quite something too.

It’s coated with aluminium – apparently so it blends in with both urban and countryside landscapes – and the cab features a large curved window with a radius of 1.5 metres.

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The fact that the train, which is operated by Seibu for commuters, looks so striking is perhaps less surprising once the person behind the design is revealed – Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kazuyo Sejima.

The train was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kazuyo Sejima. It was her first ever train design
The train was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kazuyo Sejima. It was her first ever train design
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Laview is coated with aluminium – apparently so it blends in with both urban and countryside landscapes – and the cab features a large curved window with a radius of 1.5 metres
Laview is coated with aluminium – apparently so it blends in with both urban and countryside landscapes – and the cab features a large curved window with a radius of 1.5 metres

She’s never designed a train before, but certainly seems to have got the hang of it.

She said: ‘I was approached to develop a train car concept, as never seen before.

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‘This is my first time to design a train and the most obvious difference with building design is that the train can move to different places.

‘This train moves through Tokyo to the mountains of Chichibu and I thought it would be nice for the train to be able to respond and softly blend into the surroundings.

‘Also, I wanted to make a train that feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train every day.’

The train is called Laview – ‘L’ for luxurious living, ‘a’ for speedy like an arrow and ‘view’ for the panoramic views – and has operated in eight-car sets between Tokyo’s Ikebukuro station and Chichibu in neighbouring Saitama prefecture since March.

The train has operated in eight-car sets between Tokyo's Ikebukuro station and Chichibu in neighbouring Saitama prefecture since March
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Sejima said: 'I wanted to make a train that feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train every day'
Sejima said: ‘I wanted to make a train that feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train every day’

The train has operated in eight-car sets between Tokyo’s Ikebukuro station and Chichibu in neighbouring Saitama prefecture since March

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