• • •Picture yourself enjoying pre-trip canapés and drinks in the Seven Stars' beautiful private waiting room in Fukuoka's Hakata Station. Suddenly, the President of JR Kyushu drops by to welcome you. (This happened to our 2016 group!) Imagine boarding this spectacular new train, the first luxury sleeper train in Japan. As you leave the station, you see dozens of locals waving the flags of the U.S. and other nations (depending on who's on board) to send you off. This train astounded our guests in 2016 — its first Western group. So we are honored to announce this, our fourth IRT Japan tour, featuring wonderful rail and cultural experiences — topped off with the Seven Stars in Kyushu. The first part of the escorted tour focuses on the intersection of modernity and ancient tradition in some of Japan's most celebrated cities and regions. The itinerary includes Tokyo, the Hakone nature reserve, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima. We also include a visit to the Kyoto Railway Museum and a ride on the lushly scenic Sagano Romance Train. The second week focuses on beautiful Kyushu, Japan's southernmost island, and its new luxury rail star, the Seven Stars in Kyushu. We also have a trip on another Kyushu favorite, the SL Hitoyoshi steam train, which chugs along the scenic Kuma River at a time when the foliage should be spectacular. Our guests from the 2016 tour told us that some of the tour's treasures were unexpected: the lively drumming workshop, Hakone's amazing outdoor art, the warm, unexpected reception of Americans by local Japanese at the Hiroshima museum and the quiet beauty of the shrine at Miyajima. Fukuoka was grand, they told us. They also loved exploring Kyushu, overlooked by many Americans. Best of all, they said, was the sincere welcome they received at almost every stop by locals proud of their luxury train, their island and their country. Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy's blog about his Japanese adventure on the Kyushu Seven Stars. Spoiler alert: He loved it!
Important Note: Join us on this Deluxe Japan Rail Journey! The Society of International Railway Travelers® is the only travel agency in the Western Hemisphere offering advance space on the ultra-exclusive Seven Stars, the "grand finale" of our Deluxe Japan Rail Journey.