For those who truly believe that travel is more about the journey and not the destination, Japan’s slew of railway services may be just the ticket. Here are three of the nation’s very best, in three separate categories.

The Luxurious Choice: Seven Stars in Kyushu

Nothing can beat JR Kyushu’s Seven Stars in Kyushu when it comes to first-class, immersive experiences. This opulent sleeper train offers a range of seasonal journeys across Japan’s southern isle, showcasing the region’s sumptuous cuisine, breathtaking landscapes and remarkable culture. 

More info: Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu

The Local Choice: The Resort Shirakami

The Resort Shirakami runs on the Gono Line, which hugs the coast of Aomori and Akita prefectures for most of its stretch. Giant windows offer panoramic views of the majestic Mount Iwaki, verdant apple orchards, secret surfing bays and more. Get a taste of the local culture through on-board shamisen performances, locally made sweets and crafts. 

More info: JR Joyful Trains Resort Shirakami

The Gourmet Choice: Tohoku Emotion

Another northern route, the Tohoku Emotion is a culinary experience on wheels that runs between Aomori and Iwate prefectures. Using Tohoku-sourced ingredients, chefs prepare decadent selections in an open kitchen. Watch them delicately craft your meal or sit back and take in the view of the rugged Sanriku Coast outside. 

More info: JR Joyful Trains Tohoku Emotion

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