Nanatsuboshi (Seven Stars) luxury sleeper cruise train

Japan unveils luxury train.

JR Kyushu spent about 3 billion yen ($30.1 million) to manufacture the locomotive and the seven passenger cars of the Seven Stars train, equivalent to the cost of a Shinkansen bullet train.

The locomotive is painted in a reddish “ancient lacquer” color, which is well polished and mirrors the surrounding scenery.

Walls and the floor of the guest rooms in the third train car, which were shown to reporters, are mainly wooden. Hinoki cypress wood is used in the shower room, giving an aromatic experience.

A washbowl was made by the eminent Arita pottery master Sakaida Kakiemon XIV of Saga Prefecture, shortly before his death in June 2013. Luxurious furniture includes pieces made by craftsmen based in Okawa, Fukuoka Prefecture.

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Each wood-panelled bedroom has plush beds and a desk along with an ensuite bathroom with a shower and toilet, equipped with a heated seat. The train travels around the rural southern island of Kyushu, with a four-day, three-night package costing up to 1.13 million yen ($11,000) per couple.

The company’s website boasts of a “refined and dignified” design that is a “fusion of Japanese and Western and of new and old”. The train is already fully booked until June 2014.

www.luxuo.com/travel/japan-kyushu-railway-luxury-train.html