Fine Lines

If you're planning an Asia-Pacific holiday, flying will save time and taking the bus will save money — but neither afford the comfort of train travel. Make no mistake, there are plenty of hellish rail rides out there. But choose wisely and you'll enjoy decent amenities and smart carriages, to say nothing of the landscapes gliding past. Get a ticket and climb aboard.

TOKYO-HAKATA: Nine bullet trains ply Japan Rail's Nozomi route between Tokyo and Hakata on Kyushu, the country's third-largest island. Nozomi means "hope" — an odd name for a train service, but you won't need...

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