Though I could have taken a trolley from my hostel to the station, it was easier to just walk. During my visit to Nagasaki the open-air portion of the station was host to an ice cream festival. A city after my own heart.
These are amazing. I'm not sure the name in Japanese, but they're rice balls in English. Delicious rice with a center of...something. The wrappers were in Japanese. This one was chicken. My favorite was a spicy red one filled with a foodstuff I couldn't identify.
I splurged on Green Cars for the whole route. It's essentially business class, with wood floors, comfy seats and a little table. It was all quite lovely. The regular seats on this train still looked pleasant.
I had hoped the weather would cooperate and let me take many scenic views of the Japanese countryside. But instead I was forced to settle for cloudy scenic views of the Japanese countryside. Though Japan is home to Tokyo, which is the largest city on Earth, and many other massive urban conglomerations, huge swaths of the Japanese islands are rural. This was outside Kubota, about halfway between Nagasaki and Fukuoka.
Normally I'd assume "Train Station Sushi" was a euphemism for "Death Wish" but of course, this is Japan, and you won't get anything less than the finest. This was all surprisingly good.
Another thing you'll find in Japan is countless varieties of iced tea. Walk into any convenience store and you'll encounter entire coolers full of different brands, styles, flavors -- I've never seen anything like it. I tried as many as I could without really knowing what flavor I was getting each time. It was a bit like playing Russian Roulette, but far more delicious.
Though always separated from the surrounding land (usually by height and walls), the amount of separation varies. In the cities, high sound-blocking walls make you feel like the train is speeding through a narrow canyon. In other areas, like here outside Kyoto, it's a bit lower, offering more of a view.
The stations here are gigantic. From Tokyo station to Akihabara, then up to Asakusa, I finally made it to my hostel. A long day that started many miles south. But honestly, not bad. It was comfortable, quiet, fast, hassle-free and not overly expensive. Quite a pleasant way to cross most of a country.