Seven Stars in Kyushu is Japan’s first luxury sleeper train. It made its inaugural run in October 2013, launching it into an unforeseen popularity. Along with its high applicant rate, which has increased twenty-fold, comes even higher standards.
It’s 9:30 AM. Hakata Station sparks to life.
A colorful lacquered train glides up to platform five,
boasting a luxurious gold emblem.
JR Kyushu’s cruise train, the Seven Stars in Kyushu rumbles
reminiscent of a time when train travel was luxurious.
A luxury train cruise of
seven unique areas.
Luxury sleeper trains enjoy a special popularity in Japan. JR East offers service with TRAIN SUITE Shikishima, and JR West delivers the experience with the TWILIGHT EXPRESS Mizukaze. And, other lines continue popping up around the country. This new line was the brainchild of JR Kyushu’s chairman, Koji Karaike. In the book Tekkaku Shobai (PHP Interface), penned by Karaike, he credits himself for coining the term “cruise train,” which he said he modeled after the Orient Express. However, there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
The only difference is that the Orient Express carries passengers across the European continent from one place to another. Passengers arrive at a terminal station that’s different from the departing location. However, the Seven Stars in Kyushu departs from and ultimately arrives at Hakata station. It’s a tour vessel, offering travelers a pleasure cruise on rails.
Seven Stars in Kyushu refers to the seven prefectures of Kyushu seen from the perspective of one island with seven distinct areas. However, seven stars can be interpreted in many ways. What’s important is that Seven Stars in Kyushu is an authentic luxury sleeper experience.