A Relaxing and Leisurely Break! 4 Select Sightseeing Trains in Kumamoto
There is an abundance of local train lines full of character in Kumamoto, Kyushu Prefecture, such as their steam locomotives. Why not ride on one of these trains to make your sightseeing trip even more enjoyable? Below are 4 Select sightseeing trains of Kumamoto!
1. Limited Express Kawasemi Yamasemi
This 2-car train runs along Kuma River, one of Japan's 3 great rapids. The first, blue car is called "Kawasemi", and the second, green one, "Yamasemi". Cypress and cedar wood create a warm and relaxing atmosphere inside, while there are a variety of seating options available - such as reclining, booth and sofa seats. The sparkling emerald green of the Kuma River can be seen out the train windows - wild birds can be seen here too if you are lucky! An in-car buffet service is in operation on the second car, where customers can enjoy trying some local cuisine or Kuma Jochu.
One Way Fare + Limited Express Reserved Seat: Adult 1,050 JPY - 3,270 JPY (Subject to change according to distance of travel)
*All seats, except for car 2 (Yamasemi) on train 1 (departing Kumamoto at 7:39 am), and train 2 (departing Hitoyoshi at 9:30 am), must be reserved in advance. Non-reserved seats are 520 JPY cheaper than price stated above. The "Yamasemi Bench Seat" facing the window have an additional charge of 210 JPY.
*In-car sales are not in operation on weekdays on train 1 and 2
2. SL Hitoyoshi Steam Locomotive
Operating between Kumamoto Station and Hitoyoshi Station, SL Hitoyoshi is proud to be the most popular Steam Locomotive (SL) train in the country. Passengers can get a sense of the past on this train, from the sound of the steam whistle and the rising smoke, as it runs through the abundance of nature along the Kuma River. The wooden interior also has a classic atmosphere. Besides a mini-library and the like, a buffet is also available on this train. Customers can try "Local Craft Beer" (620 JPY (incl. tax)) and "Shochu Ice Cream" (340 JPY (incl. tax)) made with plenty of Kuma Jochu. Train Fanatics will no doubt find this train journey irresistible!
One Way Fare + Reserved Seat (Kumamoto Station - Hitoyoshi Station): Adult 2,640 JPY, Child 1,320 JPY
*Reserved seats only
*In operation until November 4th, 2018 (Sunday). Please confirm operation details on their official website
3. Limited Express "Isaburo" / "Shinpei"
Running between Kumamoto and Kagoshima Prefectures, this line consists of two trains - Isaburo (operating towards Yoshimatsu Station) and Shinpei (operating towards Hitoyoshi Station). The view from the train is so magnificent that it has been acknowledged as one of Japan's "Top 3 Views from a Train". This scenery involves a panoramic view of the Kirishima mountain range and Sakurajima. In order to overcome the hilly terrain of the area, this train line uses the "switchback" railway technology, which involves the train zigzaging its way up and down steep slopes, while it loops around others. Two return trips are made a day, with train 2 and 3 operating between Hitoyoshi Station and Yoshimatsu Station. Train 1 and 4 operate between Kumamoto Station and Yoshimatsu Station (these trains will stop at every station between Hitoyoshi Station and Yoshimatsu Station).
One Way Fare + Limited Express Reserved Seat (Kumamoto Station - Yoshimatsu Station): Adult 3,930 JPY, Child 1,960 JPY
*Besides the 7 non-reserved seats in car 2, all seats are reserved.
4. Sightseeing Train: Orange Restaurant Express
Enjoy the beautiful scenery that western Kyushu coastline has to offer on this train! The cars are designed like a hotel lobby or cafe to encourage a very relaxing experience. The "Package Deal with a Meal" is highly recommended. With this package, customers can not only enjoy a meal on the train, but also get a souvenir at each station. The cuisine served is all made in collaboration with restaurants and hotels along the line, thus ensuring that the passengers can enjoy local, seasonal dishes.
Boarding Only Plan (One Way Fare + Reserved Seat): Adult 1,560 JPY - 4,180 JPY (incl. tax), Child 780 JPY - 2,090 JPY (incl. tax) (Subject to change according to distance of travel)
Package Deal with Meal: Adult 6,500 JPY - 21,000 JPY (incl. tax), Child 5,000 JPY - 14,000 JPY (incl. tax) (Subject to change according to distance of travel)
Reservation can be made online for all of the above trains, except for the Orange Restaurant Express, which can be booked on the phone. Please check with the official homepage in advance to see which trains are in operation on which dates.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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