Photo/IllutrationAn artist’s rendition of the interior of the luxury coach to be introduced by Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co. for sightseeing tours, complete with leather-covered seats imported from Germany (Provided by Nishi-Nippon Railroad)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

FUKUOKA--Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co. is sparing no expense to make its passengers comfortable on sightseeing tours around the Kyushu region and Yamaguchi Prefecture from this October.

The Fukuoka-based railway and bus operator, one of the largest in Japan, said it is spending about 60 million yen ($565,000) to remodel a highway express coach to reduce the number of seats from about 40 to 12 in the hope passengers feel they are sitting in the lap of luxury.

Touted as the company's “most luxurious in its history,” the vehicle will boast leather-covered seats made in Germany.

The company, better known as Nishitetsu, also employed the services of a fame furniture manufacturer based in Okawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, to create luggage space in front of each seat.

The body of the coach will be repainted champagne gold from its original white to promote the sense of luxury.

Sightseeing tours in the luxury coach will be called Grandays, with prices expected to range from 30,000 yen to 40,000 yen per person for a day trip, and between 100,000 yen and 110,000 yen per person for a two-day trip with an overnight stay in luxury accommodation.

The tours are aimed at active seniors.

Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu), Nishitetsu’s competitor in the railway business, operates the luxury sleeper train Nanatsuboshi, or Seven Stars, in the region. It is set to offer a new tour from this fall, with the charges for a two-day, one-night trip per person starting from 300,000 yen.

Although there is a difference in price, Nishitetsu's president, Sumio Kuratomi, said with a pun on the rival sleeper train: “If you get on board, you might feel like it had been the ‘Nanatsubus’ (after the trip).”