Thursday, June 19, 2014
Seven Stars Cruise Train
Info and quotes from:
I'm adding this to my "bucket list". To be honest, I didn't have a bucket list until I saw this train. Now, I have the list and one item - travel to Japan and ride the SEVEN STARS train. Whew!
This is just an amazing looking train. In my vision for the experience, I'm sitting in one of the suites aboard, watching the sights slip by and sipping a fine, Japanese whiskey of the $40 a glass variety. :) If I start saving now....
Deluxe Suite for 4 days and 3 nights....$12270.85. Yikers.
I can get a "regular" suite for a mere $6872.61, so I might have to "settle" for that. :)
There's a rather complex procedure for actually getting on board as well. They reserve the standard suites for non-Japan based passengers, which is interesting. And, if they are overbooked, there is a lottery to choose who gets to ride. https://www.cruisetrain-sevenstars.jp/en/tourdesk.html
A representation of the 7 prefectures of Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga).
A representation of the 7 main tourist elements in Kyushu. These are: nature, cuisine, hot springs, history and culture, power spots, local hospitality and sightseeing trains (aka Design & Story trains).
A representation of the 7 carriages on the train.
The train is a work of art, really. Just beautiful. The craftsmanship behind it's look and feel is mind blowing.
BLUE MOON BAR
JUST LOOK AT THIS TRAIN!!!!!!! WOW!
It really is a rolling piece of art. I can't imagine what it would be like to be rolling along in this beauty for days. Eating...sleeping....and just feeling like you're in a movie or another era with a massive smile on your face.
I'd have to keep the phone and camera in the suite for prolonged periods of time so I could stop taking photos and actually sit and take things in. I'd wat to document everything!
Funny how I found out about this. HOBBY SEARCH sends little email notices about their offerings. I usually dump the anime and hobby magazine emails because I'm not in the market, however today i took a look at the hobby mag email and saw a few train magazines that looked interesting. One had the SEVEN STARS featured.
I simply let myself get lost in the search for the name of the train and found it rather quickly. More photos followed and I was lost in the spectacle at once. Every inch of the train is amazing.
DINING CAR JUPITER
And food? Oh, they have food and a fine place to eat it!
"Radiant sunshine, towering mountains, and glittering oceans. Kyushu is blessed in its nature and is truly a treasure house of gourmet food. The dining car "Jupiter" will offer passengers cuisine made from seasonal ingredients throughout the year. There will also be occasions when the passengers alight from the train for their meals. We will guide you to popular eating-places at the towns where the train stops. Exclusive meals are offered, and passengers will meet some special hosts. Enjoying the local air and flavours will make this cruise train journey even more special."
There has been active exchange with the mainland here since ancient times. Now many foreign tourists visit Kyushu each year, aided by the full opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen network in 2011. These tourists number around a million people a year.
Also, around 30 million people visit Kyushu annually from within Japan. These people make their way here via air, sea and land."
It looks like there is a nice section covered when you travel and that you'll sleep on-board and a few nights in a nice Japanese inn, so you get the best of both worlds as far as your experience goes - both train and land based accommodations.
The 4 day / 3 night course is as follows:
"This course is a four-day trip around Kyushu. It travels through the five prefectures of Fukuoka, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto. The contents of the trip are a concentration of the attractions of Kyushu, including walks around popular areas such as Yufuin, southern scenery such as the expanses of the sea and sky, and the natural scenery of the Aso area, which is an unusual sight even if considered from a global perspective. This course also includes a night staying at a Kirishima hot spring resort, where passengers can thoroughly enjoy the famous hot springs. Here you can enjoy a different relaxation experience to that on the train."
Again, more info can be found at the TOUR DESK
All in all, it would be a fun trip if you have enough cash. I'd love to be able to walk through and take some photos. Take deep breaths and take in the ambiance. I'm SURE this is not allowed, but even outside shots would be grand.
One day. :)