In September 2022, JR Kyushu debuted a brand new sightseeing train called “Two Stars 4047”. The new train runs between Takeo-Onsen Station and Nagasaki Station following the coastline and offers a more leisurely tour of western Kyushu than the high-speed Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen that connects these destinations by an inland route.
The “Two Stars 4047” is a three-car train made up of revamped KiHa 40 and KiHa 47 series cars. With its brilliant white and gold exterior the train cuts an elegant figure as it travels between the “two stars” of Saga and Nagasaki prefectures. Inside, the train features lavish interiors and a variety of seating with booth seating available for groups of four or sofa seating suitable for couples or single travelers.
In car two there is a lounge which is a common area for all the passengers to share and a buffet bar where passengers can buy various snacks, drinks and sweets.
Both the exterior and interior of the new train were designed by Eiji Mitooka who also designed JR Kyushu’s Sweet Train, Kawasemi Yamasemi sightseeing train, and Kamome shinkansen train.
The train runs twice a day, and travels between Takeo-Onsen and Nagasaki following different routes in the morning and afternoon. In the morning it runs from Takeo-Onsen following the coastline along the deep blue Ariake Sea. In the afternoon it returns to Takeo-Onsen following the coast along Omura Bay – which is famous for its beautiful sunsets.
Passengers can enjoy a range of local specialties along the way which include “Two Stars Bento” lunch boxes, local sake, green tea, and original “Two Stars” ice sorbets.
To find out more about the Two Stars 4047 and to make a booking, visit the official Two Stars 4047 website. The spring schedule for this train is now available.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photos courtesy of JR Kyushu and (1) masakun/pixta. All rights reserved.