Luxury Vintage Train Tour of Japan

  • The Nanatsuboshi bills itself as Japan's first cruise train.

    The Nanatsuboshi bills itself as Japan's first cruise train.

  • The seven-car train has a luxurious vintage feel.

    The seven-car train has a luxurious vintage feel.

  • The Nanatsuboshi tours around Japan's third-largest island.

    The Nanatsuboshi tours around Japan's third-largest island.

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Kyushu’s new vintage-style train, the Nanatsuboshi (doubles from US$11,400 for three-night trips), doesn’t get near the speeds of a bullet train, but between its luxuriously appointed carriages and the passing scenery of Japan’s third-largest island, passengers won’t be any rush. The seven-car train has just 14 wood-paneled suites, plus a lounge car where guests can gather over cocktails and piano music. Notable stops on along the way include the Hyuga Sea at sunrise, Yufuin’s Kinrin Lake, and the still-active Mount Sakurajima. Billing itself as the first “cruise train” in Japan, the Nanatsuboshi has proven an instant hit; tours are already booked up until next June. But for the true rail buffs among you, what’s half a year’s wait? –Christi Hang

This article originally appeared in the December 2013/January 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“On the Rails”)

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