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Our group tours manager, Elisa was recently lucky enough to spend time on the Cruise Train Seven Stars – a luxury sleeper train in Kyushu.
Imagine the perfect cruise: service is impeccable, your cabin so comfortable, the cuisine is delightful; and whether you’re taking in the sights and enjoying a variety of excursions or simply staying on board sipping a cocktail watching the world go by, you feel completely relaxed.
This cruise happens to be on land; and what a beautiful land that is! I recently travelled on the Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu and, although it’s difficult to narrow down, here are my top four highlights of this fantastic journey.
1. The atmosphere
From the moment I was picked up from my hotel and taken to the welcome lounge, I enjoyed a warm welcome and attentive service, and the train itself was a combination of carefully curated design and craftsmanship.
2. Kyushu landscape
Kyushu is a beautiful, generous land: mountains and sea, forests and volcanoes, ancient towns and rich farmland. There are beautiful views from the rooms, or the large windows in the lounges where cocktail and piano music kept me entertained as I looked out.
There are two itineraries to choose from on the Seven Stars – a shorter two-day trip for a weekend treat, or a longer four-day journey to explore Kyushu in full; from Fukuoka all the way south to Kagoshima and Kumamoto. On these longer journeys, you also have the opportunity to stop for the night at some of the most refined hot spring resorts.
3. The sights and the people
There are excursions planned through the journey so I had the chance to visit local artisans and sights. We visited a fan maker and an Arita porcelain master in their centuries-old workshops, as well as the illustrious Yachiyoza in Yamaga – an ornate kabuki theatre founded in 1910 by the local merchants.
4. The cuisine
Kyushu is famous for superb produce, and fish and meat; at every meal selected chefs turn this bounty into a feast for the eyes, with exquisite flavour combinations and wine pairings. Dietary requirements are also catered for with courteous staff discussing preferences with you well in advance.
There was only one thing I did not enjoy about my trip on the Seven Stars… that it had to come to an end!
Contact us if you’d like to reserve one of the suites on the train – it’s such a special way to see some of Japan’s finest sights. We can also exclusively charter the entire train for you and your party.