Japan Trains

Seven Stars in Kyushu-11 things you need to know before riding this luxury Japanese Train

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The Japanese are known for the affinity towards train travel and they have perfected over the last 100 years to make it what it is today. Trains are not only a way to get from one place to another in Japan, but they are a way of recreation that the modern traveler may not even consider.

Luxury train travel in Japan is so popular that now you must enter a lottery system and hope that your number gets picked in order to partake in this adventurous way of exploring the country. However, don’t let that deter you. There are many train excursions you can choose from and the Seven Stars in Kyushu is just one of them.

What is special about Kyushu, Japan?

Kyushu, Japan is an island that many will flee to in order to get away from the mundane monotony of life and experience a land that is rich in extremes. From the ongoing seismic activity that has perfectly shaped this ancient landscape, to the healing hot springs that dot the island, to the craggy trails and the abyss of the craters that cover the land, there is something captivating about this playground for the adventurous.

Kyushu Japan
Kagoshima, Japan skyline with Sakurajima Volcano

What is the Seven Stars in Kyushu Train?

The Seven Stars in Kyushu train is one of the most luxurious trains in the world. The train will travel the circumference of the Kyushu Island and introduce you to the incredible beauty that is so unique to this part of Japan. The Seven Stars train is very exclusive and only accommodates 23 guests per trip. Therefore, getting tickets can be quite tricky.

What are the Seven Stars in Kyushu Prefecture loop?

The Seven Stars in Kyushu refer to three things when referencing this luxurious train trip in which you are about to embark. First, there are seven prefectures in Kyushu in which you will travel through. Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima prefectures are the counties that make up this stunning loop that the train will travel through on its more than 1,800 mile trek.

Secondly, there are seven carriages that make up the passenger amenities on the train. These include the lounge car called “The Blue Moon, the salon car called “The Jupiter”, the tea room, the bar, the gallery shop and guest rooms.

Lastly, the Seven Stars reference the seven elements you will experience while on your trip. Natural scenery, food culture, characteristic hot springs, history, energy fields, customs and train scenery.

What will I see on the Seven Stars in Kyushu train?

The Seven Stars will take you to an island that boasts hot springs, active volcanoes, gorgeous lakes and the cutest little towns with towering mountains looming over. Enjoy ryokans that serve delectable meals and tea services that bestow Japanese traditions that have lasted through time.

How much does the Seven Stars in Kyushu cost?

The cost of traveling on the Seven Stars varies with the length of your trip and the type of accommodations you choose. You can choose a 4-day , 3 night trip which can cost anywhere from $5,400 to $11,000. The 2-day and 1 night itinerary starts at $2,550. The third through seventh cars on the train are the sleeping carriages, consisting of twelve standard rooms as well as two deluxe suites.

How do I book a trip on the Seven Stars in Kyushu train?

Booking a trip on the Seven Stars is not as easy as going online, picking a date and paying the fare. You must fill out an application by going to the Seven Stars website. From here, you will be notified as to whether there will be a lottery.

Because there are so many that want to take this unbelievable trip, there is always a lottery. If you are chosen, then you will be notified and can book your trip. In my experience, it’s always the trips where there are lotteries involved that are the best!

What are the sleepers car like on the Seven Stars in Kyushu train?

The sleeper cars on the Seven Stars train are unlike anything you have probably experienced. The fine fabrics, the dark and warm woods and the elegant interiors feel like you have entered the pages of “The Great Gatsby”. You will want for nothing as you lounge in either a standard or deluxe room.

Enjoy foldable sofas that convert to a bed by night as well as showers and toilets. However, the view is the showstopper in these sleeper cars. In the Deluxe Suite, you will find a rear window that stretches across the entire car as well as a private lounge and bathroom.

What are meals like on the Seven Stars in Kyushu?

Meals are one of the many highlights of the Seven Stars trip. Renowned chefs from the region take special seasonal ingredients from the island’s natural resources and exquisitely seek to wow and amaze you through your tastebuds. You can also get a taste of Kyushu through the restaurants you’ll have an opportunity to try at each stop.

On board you will be served meals like Fukiyose, which are herbal steamed chicken with ginkgo shaped crisps, roast pork with vegetables, Shiraae, which is tofu and sweet potato in a white sesame sauce, taro potato croquette and Japanese pickles. In fact, the meals on board the Seven Stars are so amazing, you even get dessert with your breakfast!

What is a ryokan?

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese style of accommodation that includes futons, tatami straw mat floors and Japanese architecture and style. By taking a trip on the Seven Stars, you will have an opportunity to disembark and stay at a ryokan for one night. Choosing one may be difficult, however, they are all of the highest standard.

Yufuin Tamanoyu

This ryokan was once a sanitorium for Zen priests. The traditional feel of the ryokan has been left in tact, but a modern touch has been added to the 16 separate guest rooms spread over the 2.5 acre heavily forested property.

Kamenoi Besso

If you like lakeside living, then the Kamenoi Besso is the ryokan that you should select on your itinerary. Fifteen cottages dot the shores of Lake Kinrin and the beauty it exudes. You can also enjoy private onsen or hot springs right outside your door.

Sansou Murata 

If a more modern design is closer to your liking, then choose Sansou Murata. Although you can select a traditional Japanese ryokan, a modern ryokan is also available on the property. Traditional Japanese cuisine is also served at this ryokan.

When is the best time to visit Kyushu, Japan?

Springtime is the best time to visit Kyushu. The cherry trees are in full bloom, the poppies are gorgeous and the sun is warm and inviting. If you choose to go on some excursions, the weather is generally free of storms and the air temperature is pleasant.

Is the Seven Stars in Kyushu worth it?

The Seven Stars train is totally worth it and is an experience that you have to give yourself if ever in Japan. To see the miracles of nature, the wonders of history and the taste of the region is an adventure that you can’t get anywhere else.

We recommend taking the Shinkansen Bullet train to get to Kyushu, which will give you the experience of both fast and slow train travel in Japan.

Wendy Edwards
Wendy is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. But for the past seven years she has traveled by RV to many National Parks, monuments and everywhere in between. She and her family of five, a furry canine friend and a bearded dragon have crossed the United States thirty one times. She never tires of hiking, biking, camping and photographing this beautiful country.