But how does Russia feel about it?
This year marks the 100th birthday of the Trans-Siberian Railway, a landmark public works project that connected many towns and cities throughout Russia, the world's second-biggest country. Currently, travelers can start in Moscow and take the train an unparalleled 5,772 miles all the way to Vladistovok, on the Pacific coast close to the country's borders with China and North Korea.
The train has long inspired artists and writers as well as lovers of slow travel, but its centennial raises questions of what to expect from the Trans-Siberian in its next century. Now, though, there's an interesting proposal: according to the Daily Mail, the Japanese government has expressed interest in expanding the railroad all the way to the island of Hokkaido. The expansion would both boost tourism to Japan (which makes sense, considering the country's ambitious goal to double the number of foreign visitors by 2020) and make it easier to import and export goods from Russia and points westward in Europe. This plan would require the train bypassing Vladistovok for the Russian town of Khabarovsk, which would then be connected by bridge or underwater tunnel over the Strait of Tartary to Wakkanai, on the northern tip of Hokkaido. Currently, travelers who want to get from Russia to Japan or vice versa can do so by ferry, but expanding the Trans-Siberian would make this whole process more seamless.
This article has been republished from www.cntraveler.com