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You can now dine in a vintage Orient Express first-class carriage in Hakone

Experience the opulence of the 20th-century’s most famous luxury train just two-and-a-half hours from Shinjuku

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
Staff Writer, Time Out Tokyo
芸術を五感で味わうスペシャルディナー −オリエント急行貸切プラン
Photo: Onkochishin
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For over a century, the Orient Express carried passengers on continental journeys with routes that stretched from London to Istanbul. Though the trips could take several days depending on the destination, the train service was celebrated as a symbol of luxury and became the stage for timeless stories from Agatha Christie novels to James Bond movies. 

Originally launched in 1883, the train service was in operation through 2009, but is resuming its iconic Paris-Istanbul route this summer after a long hiatus. The journey spans five days and can be booked online here. However, if an opulent summer in Europe isn't feasible for you, there's an alternative way to indulge like the 20th-century upper class on the Orient Express – and you won't have to travel far for it.

芸術を五感で味わうスペシャルディナー −オリエント急行貸切プラン
Photo: Onkochishin

The Lalique Museum in Hakone is an art museum dedicated to the Venetian glass works of René Lalique (1860-1945). The Frenchman was a renowned jeweller and glass designer, who was commissioned to make artistic glass panels and windows for the carriages of the Côte d'Azur Pullman Express, which was in service from 1929  through 1939.

After its original route was discontinued, the Pullman Express cars were transferred to the Orient Express until 2001. The Hakone museum has managed to acquire one of the original first-class cars and now displays it as an installation piece, where visitors can admire over 150 pieces of Lalique’s intricate craftsmanship. Though the museum typically operates from 9am to 5pm, it's breaking new ground this season by opening its doors for an exclusive dinner event. 

芸術を五感で味わうスペシャルディナー −オリエント急行貸切プラン
Photo: Onkochishin

Guests can kick off the night with custom cocktails inspired by the luxurious colours of the Orient Express. The dinner that follows is a tribute to Lalique’s life and works, with dishes that weave fresh vegetables from the Seisho area and seasonal ingredients from Hakone into an exquisite meal comprising two starters, a fish course, a meat course, artistic desserts and a post-dinner drink.

Priced at ¥15,950 per person, this unique experience is limited to 12 diners per session and can be booked exclusively through Otonami. The inaugural dinner is set for July 5 2024, with plans to host more on Fridays, weekends and holidays.

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