/

JR Kyushu raising rate for Seven Stars train

Kyodo

Kyushu Railway Co. will raise the price of the most expensive package for its Seven Stars luxury train service to ¥770,000 per person for double-occupancy, an increase of about ¥200,000, starting with July 2014 departures, a JR Kyushu official said.

JR Kyushu decided on the increase because the quality of recently built train cars exceeded the firm’s expectations, the official said. The carrier will start taking reservations for the newly priced services in January.

The Seven Stars service, offering 14 guest compartments, will launch Oct. 15. The current price for the most expensive package, a three-night, four-day trip for two in the DX Suite A, costs ¥550,000 to ¥566,000 per person.

The price of this package will be raised to ¥770,000 per person, or a total of 1.54 million for a party of two.

The initial price was set before the luxury train was built and fitted out, according to the company. Improvements have also been made at the suggestion of Eiji Mitooka, who designed the train.

Although the packages are priced high, demand remains strong, particularly among customers in their 60s, according to the company. JR Kyushu plans to change the Kyushu-only routes of the luxury service in the next one or two years to offer a more attractive service, an official said.

With the Seven Stars, JR Kyushu aims to be on par with luxury trains around the world, such as the Maharajas’ Express of India and Singapore’s Eastern & Oriental Express.