Perhaps you’ve heard about JR Kyushu’s luxury sleeper train, Seven Stars in Kyushu? It sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime gorgeous trip but with with fares beginning at ¥300,000 for a single night journey, and that’s a little rich for many of us. So today we introduce another of JR Kyushu’s special trains – the Aru Ressha (“a certain train”) – and it’s a sweet deal in more ways than one! The train is more commonly known as JR Kyushu Sweet Train and that’s because passengers are served a five course meal including a savory gourmet bento followed by four elaborate desserts produced by Yoshihiro Narisawa, the owner chef of the restaurant Narisawa (Tokyo). Naturally there are fine beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and the service is top class. The elegant gold and black exterior and wooden interior train designed by Mr. Eiji Mitooka (Seven Stars in Kyushu) is a beauty and very comfortable.
Last month (January 2018) Fukuoka Now was invited to ride on the JR Kyushu Sweet Train and below are our snapshots and menu description. We highly recommend it for couples, but also to families and overseas travellers. It’s certainly very unique and a sweet deal! The train is currently running between Sasebo Station and Nagasaki Station, but the route and menu change with the season so check the official website for details. The one way journey fare is ¥25,000 (including all food and beverages) and well worth it!
Menu January 2018 – JR Kyushu Sweet Train
The first dish, served in a wooden bento box was “Happy New Year” and included seasoned rice prepared with oysters from Konagai-cho, Nagasaki Prefecture with Japanese tiger prawns from Kumamoto Prefecture, bigfin reef squid from Nagasaki Prefecture and also red bream from Nagasaki Prefecture served with a root vegetable salad. Finally, Kyushu-reared beef cooked in soy sauce and mirin served with winter vegetables enveloped in a sesame aroma.
Along with the bento box of delicacies was a cup of “Warm Sunlight”
Boiled soup made with chicken bred in Oita Prefecture and Chinese cabbage sourced in Miyazaki Prefecture
And the the first of many sweets arrived! “First Dream of the New Year”
Tea-flavored custard pudding and a caramel cocktail
Next was a palate cleanser, “First Shrine Visit of the Year”
Amazake brewed using rice from Oita and Nagasaki Prefectures. Infused with yuzu and strawberry aroma.
This was as good as it looks! “Harmonious Families”
Crêpe suzette made with citrus fruits sourced from Saga and Kumamoto Prefectures
The finale was a set of three sweets/mignardises “New Year’s Greetings”
Parcel pie made with Japanese chestnut
Matcha-flavored crème brulee
Sparkling wine (Tsuno wine, Miyazaki Prefecture)
White wine (Kumamoto wine)
Red wine (Miyakonojo wine, Miyazaki Prefecture)
Coffee (Horiguchi coffee, Tokyo)
Tea (Hoshino tea, Fukuoka)
Green tea (Kitamura tea, Nagasaki)
Hyuganatsu juice (Sun A, Miyazaki)
Kiyomi orange juice (Tajima citrus orchard, Saga)
Mineral water (MYM water, Oita)
Sparkling water (Otogino, Oita)