Why train travel is a must-do in Japan

Its not hard to argue the merits of train travel, in my opinion the most civilized form of transport yet invented! To find out how far the simple technology of steel wheel on iron rail has come in the last two centuries you need to look no further than Japan. With one of the worlds most extensive and advanced railway networks, Japan’s railway system is an excellent tool for travel; renowned for speed, efficiency, and an enormous choice of crazy destinations. Needless to say, comfort, cleanliness and punctuality are bywords in Japan, and the railways are no exception. If train travel is the best way to go, then Japan is one of the best country’s to experience it. 


From the opening of the country’s first railway line in 1872, between Shimbashi and Yokohama, Japans railway system has developed into the worlds most advanced. Today, the extraordinary network of Railways and the myriad of private companies comprise the total length of 20,000 km over the four major Japanese islands with 26,000 train departures a day.

What is often surprising, however, is the variety of trains on offer, from the famous Shinkensen (bullet train), first opened in 1964 and reaching maximum speeds of 240-320km/H and busy metro lines, through to vintage diesel railcars on quaint, local branch-lines. Throw in a pleasing number of immaculately maintained heritage and steam railways, and you’ve got a hot-spot for rail enthusiasts!


On our Railway Journeys to Japan, we explore new territory by catching all matter of trains to all matter of places, and naturally, your travel will be designed to experience the huge diversity of trains, tracks and technology in Japan. From the modern, neon-lit capital of Tokyo to the moving Hiroshima, Sumo-wrestling to railway museums, temples to samurai-sword making, its fair to say we are in for a rare feast of what there is on offer in this crazy country.

At once mysterious and modern, traditional yet ‘state-of-the-art’, Japan never fails to astound, with its wealth of architectural treasures and stunning natural scenery. Managing to preserve this ancient and sacred culture, whilst simultaneously harnessing cutting-edge technology (the bullet-train being a prime example), is what intrigues and astounds me about this country. 


A few years ago I visited with my daughter. What made our journey memorable was the huge variety of things to do and see; catering to both our interests. Mine being fulfilled by a trip to Himeji castle, where the entire structure of the massively tall castle is built around giant trees that form the main structure- cut from single logs centuries ago. Hers, enticed by the crazy fashion and wacky characters of Harajuku, and the vast city view from our wall-sized window in our hotel-at night resembling a hive of lights and energy. Japan appeals to people of every sort, the result? A perfect travel destination!

Railway Adventures run two tours to Japan. A Cherry Blossom Spectacular in April and an Autumn Colours tour in November. Both showcase all aspects of this iconic country during different seasons, on some of the worlds greatest trains – you’ll want to check it out!

Our experienced and friendly Customer Service Team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, call us on 1300 800 977 or email us at [email protected] to request a brochure on our tours in 2023/24 or visit our website to view all our tours.


Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures tour is more than just a holiday, it is a unique way to experience the world. By train you are completely immersed in culture and adventure, exploring the most scenic corners of the world in the comfort of a luxury train. Whether you are an experienced traveller or just beginning to explore this wonderful world, Railway Adventures has something for everyone. Transform your holiday into the most unforgettable adventure of a lifetime with Railway Adventures.

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