The irresistible world of JR Kyushu for train-spotters
“Primarily manage and control one part of the railroad route in the Kyushu region and Yamaguchi Prefecture. They also develop the travel, real estate, and agricultural industries.”
“They draw a line separating themselves from the other JR groups and have their own special way of management. Before the Kyushu Shinkansen lines opened, they aired a commercial for a large-scale event called “Celebrate! Trans-Kyushu Wave.” They also have a number of personalized railcars designed by Mitooka Eiji, and conceived the first incredible cruise train Seven Stars in Kyushu. They don’t limit themselves to just real estate, train station buildings, railways, and other businesses, but also manage businesses in the shipbuilding, pharmaceutical, and izakaya industries. On top of that, they also carry on a wide agricultural enterprise. Because they grapple with such individual businesses, they have been featured in media and economics magazines.”
“JR Kyushu”‘s full formal name is “Kyushu Passenger Railroad.” They’ve successfully repainted railroad travel as a fun place, and railroad fans bathe in the details. Please make reservations on any of these.
Seven Stars in Kyushu
There are seven prefectures in Kyushu, and the train is made up of seven carriages, so it was given the name “Seven Stars in Kyushu.”
In order to fully enjoy a high-class adult trip, outside of your private room, a dress code is enforced.
There are multiple courses. For one day, 2 nights, it’s \280,000 for one person, and \155,000 per person for two. For 2 nights, 3 days, 1 person is \620,000 and \391,000 per person for two.
However, if you lodge on the train during your trip (it’s possible to stay elsewhere), like a high-class hotel most of the food is prepared on board, so the total price probably isn’t shocking.
The interior is completely designed with top-class materials.
The reservations are almost always completely full. You should constantly check pamphlets and the homepage.
Limited Express Yufuin Forest
This is the Yufuin Forest strain that travels between Fukuoka, Oita, and Beppu.
The railcars are beautifully painted in London Green with gold trim.
The interior is decorated in dark brown wood, leading to a calm atmosphere.
You can reserve a box seat for 3-4 people, so you can enjoy the trip with a small number of people.
Cars 3 and 4 are the buffet cars, so you can enjoy a light meal.
Because there are no spare cars, sometimes on inspection you may find a “Yufu” car as a substitute.
It’s necessary to check this out.
The SL Hitoyoshi takes about two and a half hours between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi.
The interior of the railcars is decorated in a “retro Taisho” feel that works well, so you can fully enjoy your short trip.
Inside, there’s a corner called “the Mini SL Library” where you can see all sorts of SL models on display, so it’s a totally irresistible area for trainspotters.
Usually there’s one round trip a day from Friday to Monday, but there can be changes in the schedule, so please check ahead.
Limited Express Umisachi Yamasachi
It takes about two hours from Miyazaki to Nango.
Built with the concept “a resort train like a wooden toy,” the interior is arranged with bright toned “Obisugi” Japanese cedar wood.
Because 60% of the route is on the coastline, it drops speed in order to properly sight-see sights like “The Devil’s Laundry Rock” and “Seven Rocks”.
It runs in the middle of Saturdays and Sundays.
Limited Express Aso Boy!
This is definitely a train marketed towards children.
The JR Kyushu mascot Shiroi Kuro-chan is printed everywhere, and there is a library full of nicely-arranged picture books. There’s also a “Tree Pool” full of wooden balls that you can play with. The desire to play is completely fulfilled.
It takes about an hour and a half from Kumamoto to Miyagi. It’s in service on Saturdays and Sundays.
Trans-Kyushu Limited Express
Travels from Beppu to Hitoyoshi (through Aso) in about 5 hours.
Both the inside and outside of the rail car is chic and with a plain image, but it’s an extremely user-friendly trip.
While there’s no way to go from Oita to Kumamoto without a transfer, its renewal in August 2013 is cause for excitement. There are four round trips a day.
Please enjoy your railroad trip while watching the scenery of Mt. Aso and the Kuma River.
The Sonic links Oita and Fukuoka in about two hours.
While in the photo it’s a metallic blue, there’s also railroad cars in service popularly called “the White Sonic”.
It’s also listed that way on the timetable.
While the interiors are different, the blue Sonic has a pop feel, and the White Sonic was finished with a chic image.
As of January 20th, it will go round trip but a reservation is necessary.
Because the body is built pendulum-style, it doesn’t slow down as it turns a curve, so you can feel a slight swaying.