Just Back: Japan

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The city of Nagasaki in Kyushu, Japan.

Just Back: Japan

Exploring Kyushu by luxury train.

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Owen C. Hardy abord the Seven Stars train.
Mount Aso in Kyushu, Japan.

The Trip:  
Louisville, Kentucky-based Virtuoso travel agency CEO Owen C. Hardy recently boarded the Seven Stars train for a two-day tour across Kyushu. The 30-passenger “cruise train” traverses Japan’s southernmost island, with stops and excursions along the way.
 
On board, well-appointed suites feature twin beds, wood-paneled walls, and bathrooms with hand-painted porcelain sinks. Equally sleek common areas include a dining car and a lounge car with a floor-to-ceiling, rear-facing window and live piano music. Says Hardy: “The expert, English-speaking staff couldn’t be friendlier, and everywhere I turned, I was impressed by the over-the-top design elements: stunning fabrics, gorgeous glassware, and detailed woodwork. The Seven Stars is a rolling work of art.”
 
Highlights: 
Among the highlights of his trip: watching the sunrise from atop Mount Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano, and visiting the Kakiemon kiln in the porcelain-manufacturing town of Arita. “The train offers two- or four-day journeys,” Hardy says. “My advice: Opt for the longer trip – you’ll see and experience so much more, including an overnight stay near the island’s volcanic hot springs.”
 
Originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Virtuoso Life. 
 
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