New Japanese Luxury Train Revealed

Japanese rail operator JR Kyushu is preparing to launch luxury train services next month with the unveiling of a new sleeper cruise train. Manufactured at a cost of USD 30.1 million and sporting a red polished lacquer livery, the Nanatsuboshi will start operations on 15 October 2013 to tourist spots around the Kyushu region.

The interior decor blend Japanese and Western styling, featuring extensive usage of natural wood and fine fabrics for the walls, flooring and furniture made by craftsmen from Okawa in Fukuoka prefecture. Aromatic Hinoki cypress is used for the shower rooms, while a washbowl onboard was made by eminent Arita pottery master Sakaida Kakiemon XIV of Saga prefecture, shortly before his death in June 2013.

The Nanatsuboshi will offer 4- and 2-day itineraries each week, operating round trip from Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Travellers will visit key tourist locales on Kyushu island, such as Aso, Bungomori, Hayato, Kagoshima, Kirishima, Miyazaki, Nagasaki and Yufuin. JR Kyushu will also offer optional bus tours at selected stops to explore the surrounding regions and attractions.

Tickets range from JPY 158,596 (USD 1,600) to JPY 1.13 million (USD 11,400) per person for double occupancy and have proven popular despite the high prices. Departures up to June 2014 have been sold out and reservations for trips between July and September 2014 will begin in January next year.

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