Brekkie was a buffet at Aso station:
and lunch came in an elegant three-layered bento box:
We spent the rest of the journey gazing wistfully out of the window. It had been a wonderful trip. There was also a farewell function where the crew showed a slide show of our adventures.
A few final thoughts about the train trip ... Andrew and I don't usually eat much seafood or meat, and are particularly skittish about eating raw (or nearly raw) fish or meat. It quickly became obvious that we would need to suspend any food faddishness and just eat everything that was placed in front of us, to enjoy the train experience! Accordingly we've eaten all manner of interesting stuff lately, including sea urchin and mullet roe, eel, octopus, all sorts of raw fish, and chicken sashimi. I should probably also mention that the meals were absolutely huge. I've only posted a few photos from each meal (to avoid overwhelm) but most meals had five, six or seven courses. The drinks also flowed freely if you wanted them to. I especially liked the local rose 'champagne' and plum liqueur.
One of the main purposes of the Seven Stars train trips is to promote the many and varied products of Kyushu, from the crisp and succulent vegetables and fruits, to locally-caught seafood and local meats, to the wine and sake, and of course the hot springs, potteries and glass art. We certainly came away from the trip feeling much more knowledgeable about Kyushu's many delights. The train seems to be a bit of a local celebrity in its own right and received a warm welcome everywhere it went.
The crew on the train were wonderful. Cheerful, tireless, multi-lingual and multi-skilled. They managed to guide tours, wait tables, mix drinks, convert armchairs to beds (and vice versa), interpret and make their guests feel like royalty.
We've heard that, following the success of the wildly-oversubscribed Seven Stars in Kyushu, other regions in Japan are also creating 'cruise trains' to showcase their produce and scenery. I suspect we'll go back one day ...