Seven Stars in Kyushu

Seven Stars in Kyushu

One of the Most Luxurious Trains in the World

In Japan, there are mainly 5 types of trains- local train, rapid train, express train, limited express train and super express train (shinkansen). However, none of them is as jaw-dropping as this one, which requires a reservation months in advance. “Seven Stars in Kyushu”, or in Japanese,「ななつ星 in 九州」, is a deluxe excursion train established in October 2013 and operated by Kyushu Railway Company.

Now you might wonder, out of so many trains, what makes Seven Stars exclusive and different from the others? Well, first of all, both of its exterior and interior are so luxurious that it might make you feel as though you are in a different world. Extracting inspiration from Japan and the West, everything on this train is specially custom-made, creating a sense of nostalgia. On the royal wine red colour exterior, the name of each prefecture in Kyushu is engraved in gold. Same goes for their emblem, Gold Seven Stars.

The train will be moving on a 3,000km rail connecting seven prefectures in Kyushu. Panoramic windows are installed on the first and seventh cars to frame the beautiful art piece (the natural scenery) and allow you to admire the beauty of Kyushu. Feel free to choose whether to spend a night or three on the train. Either way, you will be treated with a first-class service and served with extravagant and delicious cuisine. It is just like a moving 5-star hotel but even better, because you get to travel to different spots while having a good rest.

After the COVID-19 pandemic ends, you can enjoy Japan to the fullest by travelling on this Seven Stars cruise train. Without further ado, let’s hop on Seven Stars and take a trip around Kyushu!

Geography Info

Kyushu (九州) literally means “nine provinces”. Located southwest of Japan’s main island, Honshu, it is Japan’s third largest island. Kyushu is made up of the mainland, plus a chain of small, sub-tropical islands. It comprises 7 prefectures- Fukuoka prefecture, Nagasaki prefecture, Miyazaki prefecture, Saga prefecture, Oita prefecture, Kumamoto prefecture, and Kagoshima prefecture. Though not as fancy as Tokyo, it offers more than you can imagine- historical treasures, modern cities and scenic beauty.

The Interior Design

Seven Stars in Kyushu is mainly decorated with a variety of wood and fabrics. A fusion of old and new, Japanese and Western elements. For instance, the interior is decorated with Kumiko wall panels. Apart from that, the beautiful artisan products such as lamps, wooden furniture, glasswork, posters and porcelain also lighten up the atmosphere on the train, making it warm and cosy for the guests.

The historical artisan shops that contribute to the aesthetically pleasing artwork and artisan products on Seven Stars:

Kinoshita Mokugei from Fukuoka prefecture
Craftsman: Mr Masato Kinoshita
This is the shop that created Kumiko wall panels on the train. Behind the art, one can feel the passionate spirit of “Team Okawa,” a group of craftsmen from Okawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture who is known for its furniture.
*Kumiko= traditional craft made of small, thin pieces of wood that are woven together one by one by hand without using any nails.

Kakiemon Kiln from Saga prefecture
Craftsman: 15th Kakiemon Sakaida
This is one of the shops that manufactured the porcelain pieces on the train. Kakiemon Kiln has been maintaining its 370-year tradition and became synonymous with Aritayaki from Saga prefecture.
*Aritayaki= Arita ware, Japanese porcelain

Seiroku Kiln from Saga prefecture
Craftsmen: The Nakamura family
This is another historical shop that focuses on producing the most impressive porcelain pieces. Seiroku Kiln is managed by a family of three generations. Inheriting the creativity and genetic DNA of the late master potter Mr Seiroku Nakamura (the grandfather, aka “God of the Potter’s Wheel”), two ceramic artists (the father and the son) are sincerely committed to their craft.

Moving on, let us look into the details of each car. Overall, Seven Stars is made up of 7 cars:
■ Car 1: Lounge car “Blue Moon”
■ Car 2: Dining car “Jupiter”
■ Cars 3~7: Guestrooms

Lounge Car “Blue Moon”

A place to chill in the daytime; a bar in the nighttime.
The lounge car is equipped with a bar counter where you can relax while listening to live piano music. Also, there are sofas, swivel chairs and large windows for scenery observation. Gaze at the starry sky through the panoramic train windows with a cup of bliss in your hand.

Dining Car “Jupiter”

In this dining car, you can enjoy the seasonal ingredients. The special meals prepared by Kyushu’s master chefs will make your cruise train journey even more memorable.

Spacious and Comfortable Guestrooms

An exquisite space for relaxation under the sun and starry night sky. 14 guest compartments to accommodate 14 groups of guests. The theme is a fusion of Japanese and Western, new and old design, with curated pieces of wood and fabrics. Relax and immerse yourself in this refined and dignified space.

Suites: Each car contains three suite rooms equipped with a shower, toilet, and air conditioning.

DX Suites: Only two deluxe suites are available. In the last room, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape along the journey from the panoramic window.

Cuisine

Served aboard the train are some delicate cuisines- both traditional Japanese (originated from Kyushu) and fusion prepared by various restaurants. All the restaurants have a good reputation for serving delicious food, and some of them are also long-established. Behind the kitchen door, master chefs prepare the meals by using the freshest ingredients obtained from Kyushu island. Let’s check out those mouth-watering dishes!
*The cuisine served on 4D3N journey and 2D1N journey are different and may be subject to change

Yamanaka

Since its establishment in 1972, “Yamanaka” has been visited by foodies nationwide as a famous “Hakata-mae” sushi restaurant. Aboard the cruise train, you will be served with luxurious seafood and f resh sushi prepared by the highly skilled chef.

Hosun

It is a hideout restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, quietly tucked away in Oita city. The restaurant’s dishes, which depict the changes of the seasons and local landscapes, are prepared with great care and attention to detail and full of Oita’s seasonal delights. You can enjoy a beautiful and delicate dinner prepared by the only female chef on Seven Stars.

Restaurant Kasei Olmo Coppia

Located near Aso Station in a renovated 160-year-old warehouse, this restaurant serves organic meals and is known for its warm, hearty, and healthy cuisine. Kasei Olmo Coppia offers safe and delicious food made f rom organic ingredients harvested in their own farm. They also used pesticide-f ree vegetables grown in open fields, delivered all the way f rom Southern Aso.

Kyoyahonten

This famous restaurant was established 30 years ago with the concept of “spreading Kyoto’s hospitality bento in Oita’’. From the rice to vegetables, all of their bentos are made with local ingredients from Oita. You can enjoy Seven Star’s original boxed bentos aboard.

Okibi Kawaguchi∴ &PILAW∴

The restaurant owner, Mr Kawaguchi, emphasizes on the idea of “local dishes that makes you feel the origin of each area”, which he learnt in Italy. For the cuisine, he focuses mainly on the ingredients f rom Miyazaki prefecture and the glowing embers (Okibi) cooking method.

Travel Guide

4D3N Journey

It is a 4-day course that takes you around Kyushu. 4 prefectures (Fukuoka, Oita, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki) will be visited. This course also includes an overnight stay in Yufuin Hot Spring, one of the best hot spring resorts in Kyushu.
*Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change.

2D1N Journey

This course takes you around northern Kyushu. 4 prefectures (Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto) will be visited. You can enjoy not just the breath of history but also pretty landscape through the observatory windows, as well as dinner with a sunset view.
*Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change.

EDITOR'S NOTE

In Japan, there are many unique trains with cute designs, but Seven Stars in Kyushu is on another level. This cruise train is incredibly luxurious and it costs anywhere between ¥321,000 to ¥917,000 for a ride, depending on various factors such as duration of journey, season, coach type, etc.

(Vender♡)

Have you ever seen Seven Stars on your trip to Kyushu, or have you ever rode it? If your answer is “yes”, do send us your experience with a simple description coupled with some photos to senyum.marketing@ senyumpress.com!

For the latest information, please visit:

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Email: cruisetrain@jrkyushu.co.jp

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