An Illustrated Guide to Train Journey’s Trains
Between Oita and Hita,Sasebo and Nagasaki
Newly produced by Eiji Mitooka, the man responsible for designing JRKYUSHU’s “Seven Stars in Kyushu” luxury sleeper train, the JRKYUSHU SWEET TRAIN “ARU RESSHA” is based on a model produced by the late Nobutaro Hara, founder of the HARA Model Railway Museum in Yokohama City. The story goes that when Hara was a child, he was awestruck at the luxuriously-constructed train cars sporting ornate decorations and stained glass that were kept in the railway yards in the Machida part of Tokyo. He would make an endless number of trips to that railway yard to sketch those cars, which were in fact the luxury coaches that the then-Kyushu Railway Company had ordered from the US-based J.G. Brill Company in 1906. In the end, however, those train cars never entered service, and eventually met the fate of being decommissioned in Tokyo.
This model served as the base on which the ARU RESSHA two-car self-propelled luxury train was produced. The result is a train whose car exterior and interior convey the excitement of taking a journey by train in style. After being in service between Oita and Hita from August to October 2015, the ARU RESSHA was commissioned for use between Sasebo and Nagasaki starting November 2015. Among the delicacies served inside this luxury train are sweets made from recipes supervised by Yoshihiro Narisawa, owner-chef of the restaurant “NARISAWA” in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo.
Taking after the model version of the ARU RESSHA, with its black- and gold-colored arabesque patterning, this train incorporates an exterior design worthy of a luxury car.
Car No. 1 has roomy two-seat and four-seat configurations, and incorporates romantic colors, classic shapes, and materials containing bright and soft maple.
Car No. 1 is equipped with a counter for onboard service. A similar counter is also present in Car No. 2 where sweets and drinks are prepared.
Private compartments for two can be found on both sides of the center aisle of Car No. 2. This luxury space is surrounded by reserved colors and walnut muntins.
The spacious multipurpose bathroom towards the head of Car No. 2 is wheelchair-compatible. Adjoining it are a Western-style toilet and washroom for general use.
Designs ornate the stained glass on the entrance/exit doors of both cars, enabling passengers to sense the high-end elegance of this luxury train the moment they step onboard.
The same cooking expertise found at “NARISAWA” in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo goes into this box meal, which is prepared with seasonal meats, fish and vegetables from Kyushu. Start your journey on the ARU RESSIA with this “bento” served with soup.
The first sweets selection to appear in your wondrous dessert-filled journey on the ARU RESSHA is a completely new sweets experience served in a cocktail glass.
The next sweets selection, which is served on a large glass dish, ushers passengers on ARU RESSHA into an astonishing world together with the effective use of the car’s interior lighting.
The third and main sweets selection, an ample serving of pancakes, dessert cake and more, is brought out on a ceramic dish.
Capping off your journey on the ARU RESSHA are bite-sized “Mignardises”. Enjoy these with coffee or black tea as you approach the end of your relaxing, blissful time onboard.
Text by: Yoshiyuki Kekke
Photos courtesy of: JR Kyushu/Kotsu Shimbun Service
*Data contained above is as of August 2015.