Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - DL Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Train 冬季湿原号

Travelled 05.02.2013

Kushiro JR Station (1109 hrs) > Shibecha JR Station (1224 hrs)
Fee = 1,040 yen + 300 yen for reserved seats = 1,340 yen

Fuyu-no-Shitsugen train is a limited period train service available during the winter season between February to March. It travels along the Senmo line between Kushiro and Shibecha, passing through Kushiro Marsh, the largest wetland in Japan.


- Kushiro River -
 - Steam locomotive was once the conventional way to drive rail trains. Most trains now are driven by diesel and electric locomotives which are comparatively more efficient and reliable. Despite its decline due to technological advancement, steam locomotives still remain attractive and popular to many people. For the older generation, it revives many fond memories of train rides in their earlier years. And for the younger generation (including myself), we can relate the signature train head and continuous plume of exhaust steam and smoke emerging from the chimney to what was depicted in numerous fictional story books and animations. Being able to sit on this train was indeed a dream came true for me.

- Unfortunately, the steam locomotive was out for maintenance on the day of travel and was replaced by diesel locomotive. Retro styled train carriages, four-seater arrangment (seats facing each other), sharing one window frame, overlooking the beautiful snow covered Kushiro Marsh throughout the 80 mins journey. A good view of Kushiro River winding through this massive and protected wetland can be seen at the comfort of your seats. Do keep a lookout for Tanchos and Sika deers along the way too!

- There is a cafe carriage, in which food, drinks and limited edition souvenirs are sold. Coal stoves are found in every carriage - apart from keeping indoor temperatures warm, one can purchase a dried squid from the cafe and put in over the stove grill. Ventured into the caboose/brake van, which is coupled to the end of the train. The open-ended feature of caboose allows passengers to enjoy the trailing scenery, which I personally liked in particular on this train ride.

- Similar to other sightseeing/limited period trains, train boarding certificates were issued to all passengers by the train conductor after the tickets were checked. The commemorative stamp counter is located in the cafe carriage - don't forget to collect one before alighting from the train!

- Related information:


Commemorative stamp: 

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