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Slowing Down in Japan

Japan's most sought-after railway.

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Japan might rank as the country with the highest-quality railroad infrastructure (followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong), but in the land of the legendary bullet train, one of the most sought-after railways is not one of its fastest. The Kyushu Railway Company launched Seven Stars two years ago with seven carriages and 14 suites. The itinerary is a stately tour of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, over two or four days, visiting volcanoes, hot springs, and Nagasaki. Far from hectic Tokyo and historical Kyoto, the trip reminds natives and visitors alike what Japan was, is, and always will be: an astonishingly beautiful and peaceful subtropical archipelago. Tickets from about $1,785; cruisetrain-sevenstars.jp.

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