A journey to discover Nagasaki Kunchi and Karatsu

TOUR A – DEPARTURE DATE: October 7, 2017

OUTLINE OF ITINERARY
PREMIUM TOUR OF KYUSHU (DAYS 1-3) + SEVEN STARS IN KYUSHU 4 DAY JOURNEY (DAYS 4-7)

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Application: This is a package including a premium tour of Kyushu, which has been selected by Seven Stars in Kyushu staff. Please note that it is not possible to apply for the Seven Stars portion of the tour by itself. All applications are to be made via the official application form.
Tour guide: There will be a tour guide on days 1-3 only. They will not be with passengers on days 4-7, but Seven Stars in Kyushu crew will look after the passengers on and off the train.
Passengers: a maximum of 30 passengers per tour. This consists of 2 passengers in each of the Suite rooms, and 3 in each of the Deluxe Suites.
Minimum number: a minimum of 16 passengers.
Fare: please note that the transportation expenses to and from the departure/arrival site from the traveler’s residence are not included in the fare. Please contact us if you need for us to make arrangements to book such transportation.
*Passengers will board the Seven Stars in Kyushu on days 4-7.

SEVEN STARS IN KYUSHU 4 DAYS JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS
From day 4 passengers will begin their journey on the Seven Stars. One will travel through the five prefectures of Fukuoka, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto. The contents of the trip are a concentration of the attractions of Kyushu. Some highlights include walks around popular areas such as Yufuin, watching the sun set in the East China Sea, and views of the spectacular scenery of Kyushu.

Essentials
of the course

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// In Karatsu, which flourished from ancient times as the gateway to the continent, encounter the traditional skills and the passion of master potters of Karatsu Ware, which boasts a history of some 400 years.

//On the second day, take a trip on the JR Kyushu Sweet Train, Aru Ressha. Enjoy the 2 hours and 20 minutes of luxury train travel and a delicious sweets course.

//Nagasaki Kunchi is one of Japan’s three largest kunchi or autumn festival. As you encounter the passion of artisans who have upheld and inherited the history of the festival, while experiencing the Nagasaki of today.

//On the fourth day, board the Seven Stars in Kyushu for 3 nights and 4 days of luxury train travel. Marvel at the stunning scenery as it passes by the train window, and enjoy sightseeing excursions from the stations the train will stop off along the way.

 

Karatsu

Karatsu is located in the north west of Kyushu, and its name is composed of “唐” (China or east Asia) and “津” (port), showing the histoKaratsu is located in the north west of Kyushu, and its name is composed of “唐” (China or east Asia) and “津” (port), showing the history of trade between Karatsu and Asia.

In addition to the cultures exchanged in this trade town, the natural resources brought many benefits. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the town was a castle town, and in the Meiji period (1868-1912), Karatsu and its port flourished with the coal trade industry. Images of these times can be felt throughout the town, and in their festivals. The annual Karatsu Kunchi festival in autumn is the highlight of the year for the city, and is a 400 year old festival honoring the local Karatsu Shrine. The festival features floats which are drawn down the streets to the tune of Japanese drummers and flutes, and can all be enjoyed up close. Karatsu ware is a local craft which has been practiced on the area for centuries. Karatsu ware is often seen in use in traditional tea ceremonies, and is considered to be one of the best styles of pottery for use in the tea ceremony. There is a Japanese saying “First Raku, second Hagi, third Karatsu” – in reference to the ceramic used for the tea ceremony.ry of trade between Karatsu and Asia.

In addition to the cultures exchanged in this trade town, the natural resources brought many benefits. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the town was a castle town, and in the Meiji period (1868-1912), Karatsu and its port flourished with the coal trade industry. Images of these times can be felt throughout the town, and in their festivals. The annual Karatsu Kunchi festival in autumn is the highlight of the year for the city, and is a 400 year old festival honoring the local Karatsu Shrine. The festival features floats which are drawn down the streets to the tune of Japanese drummers and flutes, and can all be enjoyed up close. Karatsu ware is a local craft which has been practiced on the area for centuries. Karatsu ware is often seen in use in traditional tea ceremonies, and is considered to be one of the best styles of pottery for use in the tea ceremony. There is a Japanese saying “First Raku, second Hagi, third Karatsu” – in reference to the ceramic used for the tea ceremony.

JR Kyushu Sweet Train "Aru Ressha"

In 1906, Kyushu Railway ordered luxury railway coaches from the American rolling stock manufacturer, Brill. However, due to the nationalization of the railways soon after, the ordered coaches never had the chance to be put into service. They came to be known as the Kyushu Railway Company Brill Coaches, with the nickname of Aru Ressha, or “a certain train”. Based on scale models of the original coaches, built by the late Shintaro Haram who had a passionate love for trains and who was known as the “god of model railways”, industrial designer, Eiji Mitooka, who also designed the Seven Stars in Kyushu Cruise Train, brought this “dream” luxury train back to life. Enjoy a sublime train journey, together with a sweets course designed and created by Yoshihiro Narisawa, of the Minami Aoyama, Tokyo restaurant, NARISAWA.

Nagasaki Kunchi

Nagasaki Kunchi, the autumn festival of Suwa Shrine, the guardian deity of Nagasaki, is said to have begun when two courtesans danced a Noh song called “Komee” in offering to the gods at Suwa Shrine in 1634. The festival has become more and more popular every year, and with the solemn parades of floats and gorgeous, exotic votive dances, today, it is much loved as one of Japan’s three top Kunchi festivals. On this day, you will view the votive dances from special gallery seats. On the previous day, you will enjoy a special lecture about Nagasaki Embroidery, the traditional skill used to make the costumes and kasaboko used in the Nagasaki Kunchi.

Course details & Schedule

An accommodation plan is available for passengers who request an overnight stay after the journey.
* The above itinerary is based on the operation schedule as of February 1, 2017, and therefore the departure and arrival times are subject to change.

October 7 (Saturday)

  • Meals :
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Meet at Fukuoka Airport or Hakata Station

    around 10:00am or 11:00am
  • Lunch at Karatsu

  • Visit Karatsu-ware kiln

    唐津焼③(絵唐津 中里太郎右衛門)sml

  • Stay at ryokan

    Ureshino or Takeo onsenETA 17:00

October 8 (Sunday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Depart ryokan

    around 08:00-08:30am
  • JR Kyushu Sweet Train

    Oita 2 sml

  • Sightseeing in Nagasaki and cultural workshops

  • Stay at hotel

    Central Nagasaki area

October 9 (Monday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Depart hotel

    around 07:45am
  • Learn about Nagasaki Kunchi

    2014唐津くんち御旅所②sml

  • Stop for sightseeing at 1-2 places on the way

  • Stay at hotel

    Central FukuokaETA 17:00

October 10 (Tuesday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Welcome ceremony

    Kinsei Lounge
  • Hakata Sta.Dept around 11:20
  • Yufuin Sta.Arr around 14:00
    Optional excursions

    1) Yufuin guided walk
    2) Stay on train (tea time on board)
    3) Free time
    4) Taxi tour (extra cost involved)

  • Dinner on board

  • Yufuin Sta.Dep around 23:00
  • Stay the night on Seven Stars

    SevenStars

October 11 (Wednesday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Mimitsu Sta.Arr 06:50
    Optional walk

    Optional Mimitsu town walk

  • Mimitsu Sta.Dept around 08:45
  • Miyazaki Sta.Arr around 09:40
    Optional plans

    IMG_8228 small

    1) Miyazaki town tour (passengers will re-board at Minami-Miyazaki)
    2) Stay on train (enjoy tea-time on board)

     

  • Minami-MiyazakiDep around 12:00
  • Hayato Sta.Arr around 14:20
  • Stay at ryokanArr around 15:00

October 12 (Thursday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Dinner /
  • Depart ryokan

    Walk and lunch at Tenku no Mori

  • Dep Hayato Sta.14:00
  • Dep Sendai Sta.Dep around 16:30
  • Dep Satsuma-taki Sta.Dep around 17:20
  • Arrive at Minamata Sta.Arr around 18:30
  • Dinner (on board)

  • Stay the night on the Seven Stars

    SevenStars

October 13 (Friday)

  • Meals :
  • Breakfast /
  • Lunch /
  • Depart Minamata Sta,Dep around 07:20
  • Arr Yatsushiro Sta.around 08:50
  • Take Amakusa Sea CruiseDep around 11:00
  • Lunch

  • Depart Uto Sta.Dep about 14:40
  • Farewell event

  • Hakata Sta.Arr around 17:30