A contender for the title of most luxurious train in the world

In the world of luxury train transportation, the first name that may come to mind is the legendary Orient Express. However, if there is one train which can compete for that title, it may be the Seven Stars in Kyushu, a luxury sleeper train for which the demand is so high and space so limited that entering a lottery is often the only way to obtain a ticket. The enticing name Seven Stars comes from the seven prefectures of Kyushu Island and the seven cars composing its length.

A journey on the Seven Stars begins at Hakata station. Once inside, passengers are enveloped by warm wooden interiors and a classic design evoking a world of luxury and elegance from another time.

A recent video from CNN Style's "Masters of Experience" series offers a tantalizing peek into this world, and the vision of its creator, renowned industrial designer Eiji Mitooka.

A custom-made experience

Everything is unique and custom-made for the train. From the seats, to the lighting, to the furniture, our theme was to mix elements like a mandala, drawing inspiration from the East and West, to come up with something we’ve never seen.

Eiji Mitooka

Wood interiors create a mood of warm elegance

One of the key elements which help created the mood of warm elegance and luxury inside the train is the use of wood in in the paneling, walls, and various decorative accents in the halls, the dining car and the private suites.

This train is your stage

Our job is to create the best “stage”. For this stage, there are large and small props, lighting, music and food. As the crew undertake their roles, passengers start feeling as if they’re the main characters of a play.

Eiji Mitooka

Windows framed like paintings to enjoy Kyushu's beauty

The train's large windows are also an important part of the design.

I always get a special feeling during the journey as the scenery outside changes. Unlike a hotel, the views outside a train constantly change. There’s mountains, rivers and oceans. Even different climates… All the windows have frames like a painting. It’s as if you’re watching a film. It’s the ultimate luxury.

Eiji Mitooka

The journey awaits

If you'd like to find out more about Seven Stars in Kyushu, please consider paying a visit to their official website here.

If you're thinking of experiencing the Seven Stars for yourself, applications for the October 2018 to February 2019 season have just ended but if you wait until next Spring, you'll probably have a chance for the 2019-2020 season.

By - Ben K.