On the whole traveling by train in Japan is a pleasure, unless you are crushed like a sardine on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo at rush hour or caught like a cat in a bag on Osaka's Loop Line.
Japanese trains are, on the whole, modern, clean, punctual, reliable, safe, economical and increasingly luxurious, though the Shinkansen has its critics for its rather spartan carriages.
A number of trains on scenic routes in Japan now have rows of seats that can swivel to face the wide windows and enjoy the views.
Some trains now have lounges and cafes both Japanese and western in style. The upcoming Kintetsu Express Shimakaze ("Island Wind"), which will debut later next month, is one such luxury train, which will transport visitors to Ise and Toba from the urban centers of Osaka and Nagoya.
We can't wait to ride this futuristic train.
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