Some trips involve a good deal of advance planning. A trip on the Seven Stars, Japan’s first luxury sleeper train, requires planning and luck. To book one of the 14 suites on the train, would-be riders must enter a lottery months in advance. (Applications are already closed for trips between October 2018 and February 2019.) The train travels through the island of Kyushu, which is the part of Japan closest to the continental mainland. Kyushu is known for its hot springs and is home to volcanic peaks, beaches, and the cities of Fukuoka and Nagasaki.
The interior of a room inside of the ultra-luxurious Seven Stars train.
The train’s seven cars feature interiors by Eiji Mitooka, who combined traditional Japanese motifs and Western design elements. Mitooka incorporated rich wood paneling, luxe fabrics, and beautifully carved screens throughout the spaces, including the train’s two deluxe suites, each of which has a unique design and can accommodate three guests. Passengers enjoy seasonal cuisine in the Jupiter dining car and can imbibe cocktails while listening to live music in the Blue Moon lounge car, which offers panoramic views of the landscape ahead from the front bay window.
A view of the interior of the train looking out the back window.