The World's Best Train Routes

The true luxury of these world-class trains lies in enjoying the ride at a leisurely pace.

Raymond Patrick
OF 20

Seven Stars, Kyushu, Japan

For 20 years, Koji Karaike had a vision of a deluxe sleeper touring Kyushu, the southwesternmost of Japan’s major islands, as if the Orient Express had been shipped to a Pacific paradise. In 2013, Karaike—now chairman of Kyushu Railway—made his dream a reality. The ultraluxurious Seven Stars runs two- and four-night trips in a loop along the island’s shores, with stops to take in history lessons and sublime vistas. Berths are awarded in a biannual lottery; thousands apply. Applications for 2017 began September 2016. From $2,500; —Joshua Cooper Ramo