Take a ride to Imatra, Finland, a friendly town of 27,000 people located 160 miles southeast of Helsinki. In just over two and a half hours, you can travel from Helsinki Central Railway Station to Imatra Central Railway Station on one of the five daily InterCity high-speed trains. There are numerous hiking paths that begin right in town, making Imatra a veritable paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Culture House Virta and the Imatra Modern Art Museum offer indoor activities, as do super mario bros the Church of the Three Crosses, designed by Alvaro Aalto, and the Imatran Valtionhotelli, a hotel constructed in 1903 that looks like a medieval castle.
Kashima City, home to an estimated 27,915 people, is well-known in Japan for its many sake brewers and, in 2021, for the debut of Hama Bar at Hizenhama Station, the country's first sake bar on a railway platform. Saga-City is not far away and is a major urban center. You may reach Kashima City in 40 minutes using a local train on the Nagasaki Line.
Hizen Hamashuku, where some of the top sake breweries in the area are located, is a six-minute walk from Hizen-Hama Station. Stay at the luxurious Onyado Fukuchio, run by the sake brewery Nabeshima, to keep the sake theme going strong. While out and about in the Hizen Hamashuku neighborhood, stop in at Glad Coffee for a jolt of caffeine or stop in at Hizen-ya to refuel with some of the finest sake, shochu, and Japanese gin the city has to offer.
Lindau, in the Lake Constance Region (also known as the "Bodensee") in southwestern Bavaria, is a picture-perfect town fit for a post card. Fewer than 3,000 people call this historic Bavarian settlement home, with another 25,000 making Lindau their permanent abode. From either Munich or Zurich, the trip to its final destination, Lindau Reutin Station, takes roughly three hours.
Visitors come to Lindau for the peace and quiet, whether they want to spend the day boating on peaceful Lake Constance or simply admire the view from the island's New Structure, a five-story lighthouse with a panoramic perspective of the lake. The climate is ideal for vineyards, so wine lovers can enjoy excellent vintages. Don't miss out on a private tasting at Teresa Deufel, but don't rule out the small winery bars dotted around the lake, too. After refreshing yourself at the Therme Lindau spa, retreat to the five-star comforts of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, located on the water's edge.