Japan’s first all-new high-tech luxury sleeper train was launched recently. The Kyushu Seven Stars coasts through the beautiful landscapes of southern Japanese island of Kyushu.
Aimed to rival the world’s best luxury train journeys like the Ghan and the Orient Express, the Kyushu Seven Stars has been built with precise perfection and aesthetics. The hand-crafted woodwork and fine art throughout the train give a luxurious and timeless feel to the passengers on board. The musician, magicians and train staffs have been given the pre-launch training for almost a year. Everything comes at a cost of three billion yen, around £20 million.
The Japanese national media lined up at the platform on the morning of departure to film the first journey of train and the fortunate foreigners on board. The luxury train does not accept the registration for the next six months, as it is completely booked. A bunch of European journalists also experienced the launch trip of the luxury train.
The president of Kyushu Railway Company, Koji Karaike was quite enthusiastic over the launch trip and the features of trains. The train features ceramic sinks influenced from Satsuma porcelain, showers inspired by aromatic hinoki cypress wood, shoji and bamboo blinds and Japanese paper screens.
It was on the insistence of Eiji Mitooka, the designer of train, that such details were given to the train to make each coach seem different. Mr Mitooka was present on the platform while the Seven Stars pulled out.
The Seven Stars features with two luxury suites and 12 en-suite rooms. The occupancy of the suites was decided amid the tense moments through a lottery.
While on the journey on board, travellers were stunned with the sight of splendid green light of rice paddy fields, the volcanic landscape from the ornately-carved bed with Japanese maple.
Kyushu is an exotic place to excite you and if you are on the train’s itinerary, there is a lot packed in. The Seven Stars cover two different routes, the short and the long one. You are offered numerous outings on both the trips. In one of the outings, you are offered a walk on the largest volcanic caldera in the world near the green and fertile terrain of Aso.
On the longer route, you are offered to spend a night in a traditional Japanese inn or ryokan. The real magic of Kyushu comes alive at the ryokan. The stone paths leading to the wooden houses have a humble vibe. Inside the ryokan, floor is covered with traditional tatami mats and yukata cotton robe offered to all.
The foods in Kyushu are dainty and often decorated with flowers and twigs of maple. Besides taste, texture and appearance are equally elegant. One can taste the some of the best beef and fish at this place.
Overall, the experience at Kyushu Seven Stars is wonderful. The island of Kyushu is itself a wonderful place with abundant volcanoes and bubbling with greeneries.