Of the handful of epic train journeys around the world, this circuit route from Fukuoka is one of the most indulgent. Japan might be famous for its super-fast bullet trains, but its rail journeys aren’t all about high speed. Japan Railways have commissioned this bespoke Seven Stars train, with seven artisan carriages, to whisk 28 guests in gilded comfort across Kyushu’s seven prefectures. This ultra-deluxe sleeper moseys in splendour through the island’s subtropical volcanic landscape, with more than a touch of golden age Orient Express-esque glamour. Its finely crafted interior is astonishing, its windows are huge, the scenery remarkable and the food exquisite.
By far the most exclusive, high quality rail experience in Japan, the Seven Stars train is the zenith of Japanese hospitality neatly packaged into a smoothly progressing private train. From the outside, the wine red train looks like a sublime piece of lacquerware carefully conveying its guests through rural Kyushu. The exquisite interiors are ostentatious but sophisticated; a common feature of modern Japanese interpretations of opulence. The rooms are fabulous, with long, comfortable beds and surprisingly spacious en-suite bathrooms. It’s a proper delight.
The dining car and lounge are a parade of elaborate hand-worked wood. Cuisine is a major feature and many of Kyushu’s top restaurants have vied to prepare a meal for the service. The result is a different signature dish twice a day, mostly centred around Japanese cuisine with a sprinkling of fusion with Italian and French. There really is no expense spared. It is utterly exquisite.
A formal experience with dress code and old school service. There is always high competition for places, so give us the go ahead as far in advance as possible so that we can make this sublime experience happen.