Luxury overnight cruising train trip in Kyushu


JR Kyushu have been planning to operate a deluxe overnight train. According to some major newspapers in Japan, JR Kyushu seem to complete the plan. They may start to take a reservation in this coming summer.
This is the first multi-day cruising train trip in Japan. Probably this is much more luxury than Twilight Express and Cassiopeia. I don’t think I can afford this train trip. But it is very interesting. So I would like to share all information that I know at this point.

Route

This trip will be 3 nights 4 days trip. This is a cruising train trip. So you need to take all part of this trip. You cannot take some part of this trip.
The train start from Hakata. It goes to south, and then take Kyudai line to Yufuin.
*But the train may take the route to Yufuin via Kokura, Beppu and Oita.
The train goes to Oita and goes to south to Miyazaki. Anyway, this train goes on Hisatsu line via Yoshimatsu and Hitoyoshi. Hisatsu line is well known as three greatest scenery from the railway. The train goes to Kumamoto and complete the cruising at Hakata.
I am not sure that this train goes to Kagoshima. And I don’t know which city this train stop at. But JR Kyushu says that they change the itinerary season by season.

Accommodation

This will be seven cars formation. As you see the image on right side (click to enlarge), 5 of 7 cars are sleeping cars. And this train has one dinging car and one observation car. This formation is my imaginary image. So observation car may be at the middle of the formation.

Click to enlarge

This train is designed by JR Kyushus’ chief designer, Eiji Mitooka. Most of Kyushu trains are designed by this designer. He designed many interesting trains that have traditional Japanese atmosphere. I expect this train will be very elegant.

The compartment will be very spacious. Especially one of five sleeping car has only two compartments. It will be more spacious than Suite of Twilight Express or Cassiopeia. The other cars have very spacious compartment too. There will be 3 to 4 compartments in one car. It is much more spacious than the standard room of other Japan Railways’ overnight trains.

Estimated price

It will be starting from 300,000 yen. This is obviously most expensive train trip in Japan!
JR Kyushu says that they will have an optional plan that includes stay at Hotel or Ryokan. So I guess this train is not real overnight train. The train may be stop at the station in night time.

That’s all I know at this moment. I don’t know that Japan Rail Pass cover this train trip or not. I will let you know when I get more information about this train trip.

4 thoughts on “Luxury overnight cruising train trip in Kyushu”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    To be blunt, this train sounds amazing. 300,000 yen is a very hefty price tag, though! I think there are a couple of trains in Australia (where I’m from) that cost about that much, too.

    Do you think it will be locomotive hauled and use retrofitted 24 series carriages or an all new EMU/DMU set?

    Best regards,

    – Jonathan Ayre –

    1. Hi Jonathan,
      As you know, Japan is very small country. We have never had a real cruising train trip. Your country have “The Ghan”, “Indian Pacific” and some more. I have never been to Australia. But I’ve heard these trains’ name many times. In Canada, “Rocky Mountaineer” is the most well known cruising train. Gold Leaf (highest class) is sold at almost US$2000 for just 1night 2days trip. JR Kyushu train trip is so reasonable!!! (:
      By the way, this train will be locomotive hauled. I don’t know which carriages will be redesigned. But you know Mitooka’s design. I will make some surprise for us.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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