The Nanatsuboshi (which means “seven stars” in Japanese) is a new high end extravagant luxury train built by the Kyushu Railway Co.
Aside from it’s visual similarities to the Mammoth Car in Speed Racer, the Seven Stars in much less intimidating on the inside. The train cabins are lined with rich wood that matches the the local Kyushu environment. The showers and baths are made of the lemon-scented Hinoki cypress native to Japan. The wash bowls are made from a master potter from the small town of Arita in the western part of Kyushu. The furniture is made by craftsman in Okawa Fukuoka. In other words this train is an awesome rolling display of the best the island of Kyushu has to offer.
The four day tour also takes you to some of Kyushu’s famous tourist areas like Yufuin and Kagoshima. The price for this kind of luxury travel is about $5500 (¥550,000) and tickets are going fast. As of today (October 15 2013), they are booked until summer 2014.
The Japanese luxury train is an awesome idea and a great way to generate tourism in Japan. America seems to love it’s rebuilt old trains and talks of luxury like it’s this thing of the past. Japanese trains have this international image of bullet trains made of rocket parts that get you from one place to another in punctual time machine like speeds. It’s refreshing to see a new Japanese train built with the idea of slowing down and looking around. They apparently spared no expense, the train cost around 30 million dollars to build. This is falls just short of building a shinkansen (bullet train).
The idea of the Seven Stars is to, “Encounter the grand natural beauty of Kyushu, and the warmth of its people.” The idea is catching on. A few of Japans other railway companies plan on making their own luxury trains to promote their own area of Japan
The train is scheduled to begin service in October. I hope to someday get a ticket and do a review. you can get more information on the Seven Stars at its official website. Cruise Train Seven Stars.
Photos Copyright © 2013 Kyushu Railway Company.