Now Reports

Kyushu’s Newest Tourist Trains

The saying “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” is so true, as these new sightseeing trains prove it! Each offers a one-of-a-kind experience, memorable scenery, and fabulous food – this is Japan after all! Which one will you try?

kyushu, train, sightseeing train, travel, japan

The Rail Kitchen Chikugo

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan
This train connects bustling Tenjin to Chikugo, a mostly rural area of southern Fukuoka Prefecture known for its farm produce and traditional craftworks, both well represented in the train’s furnishings and menu. Begin with a toast of Amaou Strawberry Sparkling Wine followed by a series of dishes including a piping hot veggie pizza, dessert, and tea. The scenery runs the gamut from crowded Fukuoka City commuter platforms to rivers and rice fields. You can arrange to disembark at Yanagawa Station for sightseeing, but why shorten the ride!

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

• Route: Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Sta. ~ Nishitetsu Omuta Sta.
• 1 run/day on Fri., Sat., Sun. & hol.
• Travel time: about 2.5 hours
• Lunch: Tenjin 11:50 ~ Omuta 14:14, Dinner: Omuta 16:40 ~ Tenjin 19:13 (Fri.: Omuta 16:40 ~ Tenjin 20:13)
• Price: Lunch ¥8,640, Dinner ¥8,640 (incl. appetizer, vegetable plate, meat plate, pizza with seasonal vegetables, tea cakes, welcome drink, after-meal drink, train fare)
• Nishi-Nippon Railroad: http://www.railkitchen.jp/en

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

rail kitchen chikugo, nishitetsu, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

Coto Coto Train

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan
This beautifully renovated diesel train rolls unhurriedly through the picturesque rural backcountry of Chikuho, a former coal producing area. Inside the train designed by Eiji Mitooka (of JR Kyushu’s Seven Stars fame), local materials and crafts including Okawa lattice are used throughout. The Japanese-French fusion meal is prepared under the direction of Tsuyoshi Fukuyama, owner-chef of La Maison de la Nature Goh in Fukuoka (one of Asia’s Top 50 restaurants). Using seasonal ingredients and served in local Aganoyaki ceramics, the food is not only delicious but a worthy match to the lovely scenery.

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

• Route: Nogata Sta. ~ Yukuhashi Sta.
• 3/21 (Thu.) ~ 9/29 (Sun.)
• 1 run/day on Fri., Sat., Sun. & hol.
• Travel time: about 3.5 hours
• Nogata 11:20 ~ Yukuhashi 14:52
• Price: Lunch ¥14,800 (incl. six-course French meal, train fare)
• Heisei Chikuho Railway: http://www.heichiku.net/cotocoto_train

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

coto coto train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

Aru Ressha

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan
Aru Ressha (“a certain train”) is also known as JR Kyushu Sweet Train because passengers are served a five-course meal beginning with a savory gourmet bento made with ingredients from around Kyushu, followed by four elaborate desserts produced by Yoshihiro Narisawa (Narisawa, Tokyo). Currently, the train runs between Sasebo and Nagasaki stations, but from May there will be a new route and refreshed menu. With fine beverages and top-class service inside a gorgeous interior made from mostly locally sourced natural materials, you’ll wish the ride never ends!

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

• Route: Sasebo Sta. ~ Nagasaki Sta.
• 4/1 (Mon.) ~ 5/12 (Sun.) *new route from May
• 1 trip each direction/day on Mon., Fri., Sat. & Sun.
• Travel time: about 2.5 hours
• Morning trip: Sasebo 10:34 ~ Nagasaki 13:11, Afternoon trip: Nagasaki 15:37 ~ Sasebo 18:37
• Price: Light meal & sweets ¥25,000 ~ ¥37,000 (incl. bento with Kyushu ingredients, soup, three-course dessert made with seasonal fruits, three kinds of tea cakes, drinks, train fare)
• JR Kyushu: http://www.jrkyushu-aruressha.jp/en
*10 y.o. and below may not ride

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

aru ressha, jr kyushu sweet train, kyushu, sightseeing train, japan

Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn244, Apr. 2019)

Category
Things To Do
Fukuoka City
Published: Mar 27, 2019 / Last Updated: Mar 27, 2019

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