Uber-Lux Private Pods Coming to Tokyo Rail System

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In just 12 months Japan will be getting a more luxurious commuter experience.

At a press conference held April 1st, Japan Rail Co. announced plans to partner with Watanuki Labs, an Osaka-based aerospace design and manufacturing company, to offer commuters a new opulent transportation service in the Tokyo area.

Beginning April 2016, passengers will commute in posh style, by lying back in faux-leather chairs in sleek private pods. The missile-shaped pod will not only offer luxurious comfort, but also those who reside in the Tokyo area will have their very own private space.

The uber-lux rail system is referred to as Kosoku, which is a combination of two kanji Japanese characters for “individual” 個 ko and “speed” 速 souk, according to Rocket News 24.

This brand new pod train is shaped for an individual who measures up to 210cm (6’10”) tall. Commuters will enter the pods through a scissor-like door on the side comparable to the way one would enter a Lamborghini. Passengers will place their legs inside the front of the pod and then lie on their back while commuting to their final destination. Those traveling on this new rail system will have the option of adjusting their seats from 45-degree angles to being flat on their back.

In addition, passengers will have access to a number of high-tech amenities such as:

  • Air-condition with a choice of relaxing or invigorating air fragrances to prepare passengers for their day ahead
  • The reclining seat will have built-in shiatsu massage functions
  • A Smartphone dock with in-pod speakers to enjoy music and video during one’s commute
  • Free secure wi-fi for all Kosoku users
  • Cup holders designed to fit a range of cups from popular coffee chains, from short to venti
  • Adjustable mood lighting and a selection of ambient sounds to listen to, including “lush forest,” “underwater” and a rousing “baseball stadium”
  • A small viewing panel with UV-filtering glass, so passengers can enjoy the view
  • A compartment for a briefcase weighing up to 20kg (44lbs).

At the press conference, lead designer Tadashi Yao said, “In generations gone by, travelling by train was considered something of a luxury, and those embarking on longer journeys would often ride in private compartments. As I’m sure you know, commuters in Tokyo are forced to pack into crowded trains every day, with little or no personal space. With the Kosoku Project, we’re hoping to offer our customers the comfort and privacy they crave, but also ensuring that they get to their destination as quickly as possible by utilizing our knowledge of aerodynamic systems and technologies.”

(Cover photo via Rocket News 24)

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