– JR Kyushu : Kyushu Railway Company –
JR Kyushu is a railway company in Kyushu island of Japan.
Travelers see a lot of “destination restaurant” and “destination hotel” in tour pamphlets or booklets when searching for the ideal hotel and restaurant while researching: but they most likely have not come across the phrase “destination train”.
If you have been to Japan several times and are looking for something new, try researching “D&S Trains”. “D&S” stands for “Design and Story”; JR Kyushu has introduced trains, express trains, steam locomotive and bullet trains, each in unique design with ecstatic story to explain about the passing area. Simple means of transportation of connecting towns, from Hakata to Kagoshima or Beppu to Hakata, will become an extraordinary experience as the story of train, scenery and service can provide you a very personal trip.
To enjoy as many designs and stories as possible by JR Kyushu in a day, one recommended course is riding Hayato-no-Kaze Isaburo SL Hitoyoshi which connects Kagoshima and Kumamoto. Except SL Hitoyoshi, the others are express trains; however, they stop at each station for about 5-10 minutes for tourists to photoshoot the unique characteristics of each stations, or stop to enjoy Kagoshima tea souvenir stalls run by friendly, typical grandmas, or pick up local light snacks like aburi-shimesaba, parched vinegared mackerel, to eat on the journey. Townspeople will stop whatever they are doing and smile to wave at passing SL Hitoyoshi, a steam locomotive. The kind gesture of the local people warms the heart of travelers.
Transportation is meant to connect location to location, but site seeing already starts once catching a glance of sophisticatedly designed JR Kyushu’s D&S Trains slowly approaching the station platform. These trains are truly a site seeing spot itself and bringing travelers to its destination at the same time.