All Roads Lead to the Seven Stars in Kyushu

No, it’s not a book title found in the New York Times Best Seller list, although it could pass for one. It is a luxurious sleeper and excursion train in Japan, and it’s named the world’s most luxurious. Think of it as a cruise, but on land. 

With interiors by Eiji Mitooka, he combined traditional Japanese architecture with Western design. Everything on the train, from the woodwork to the porcelain, was handcrafted by local artisans in Kyushu. But it’s not called Seven Stars in Kyushu because it could be rated 7-stars. 

The number 7 symbolises something else. It represents the seven prefectures of Kyushu Island- Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki and Kagoshima. It also means that you get to experience the seven major attractions of Kyushu – nature, food, onsen (hot springs), history & culture, power spots, humanity and trains. And it’s also a seven-car passenger train, so there’s that.  

It’s All About The Journey

To savour the beauty of Kyushu, you have to taste the food (made from handpicked local ingredients), watch local artisans in action, and visit what each prefecture has to offer. Just imagine the flowing scenery from the train windows, from flourishing green mountains to glistening sea views. The Seven Stars in Kyushu gives you all that and more. And it’s the whole experience, not the destinations that will make you want more. 

If you have four days to spare (apply here), their 4D3N journey will start at the Hakata Station where a welcome ceremony awaits. You will have drinks and treats while being serenaded by a pianist. Breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner are all included and specially prepared by skilled chefs on board the train. The train departs shortly before lunch.

The first destination is Moji Port to have a tour of the Mojiko Station (optional) then you will experience local craft from Kunisaki in Oita at the next stop. Not only will you get to experience the sights and sounds of Kyushu, but your culinary journey is also a delight. Food for the first day is by Yamanaka and Housun restaurant. The first night is on the train. 

You will re-energize the next day with breakfast at Restaurant Kasei (Aso Station stop). At this stop, you will also see one of the largest calderas. After taking these all in, prepare for what is next. Yufuin, Kyushu’s leading onsen (hot spring) resort, is the next stop! And not only that, you get to stay the night in Yufuin. There are three options to choose from – Sansou Murata, Kamenoi Bessou, or Yufuin Tamanoyu. Meals for this day is by Restaurant Kasei Olmo Coppia, sans breakfast. 

The third day will be all about Southern Kyushu. And this day will send you to the Hyūga-nada Sea, and then you also get to explore the Miyazaki Aoshima Shrine. Prepare for a culinary delight as Wakaeya and Manor House Shimadu Shigetomisoh fills up your bellies. The night is spent again on the train. 

Your last day will not disappoint as you will have exhilarating views that this train line has to offer. Plus a tour of the national treasure of Japan, the Aoi Aso Shrine. Breakfast is prepared by Head Chef Tamio Kunisaki and lunch is by Hotel & Ryokan Ayunosato. 

Don’t worry if you are too busy and only have 2 days to spare. They also have something special prepared for you. And besides, it’s all about the journey and not how long you stay. 

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