Saturday, September 5, 2015

Kyushu Spring 2014 九州春季之旅 - Hayato no kaze 隼人の風

Travelled 24.03.2014

There are two round trips daily. For my trip, I boarded Hayato no kaze 3 which departed from Yoshimatsu JR Station at 1503 hrs and arrived at Kagoshima Chuo at 1632 hrs. This is one of the 3 sightseeing trains I took to travel from Kumamoto to Kagoshima. Do check out the latest train operating schedule on JR Kyushu website:

  • Hayato no kaze 1, 3: Yoshimatsu > Kagoshima Chuo
  • Hayato no kaze 2, 4: Kagoshima Chuo > Yoshimatsu



Top left: Observation lounge; Bottom right: Sakaurajima coming into sight.
Features & facilities: Train design/concept is quite similar to Isaburou/Shinpei. A shiny black coloured train with wooden interior. Made up of two train carriages, the train does not have a fixed counter that sells food. Instead, the cabin attendant will push a cart that carries light snacks and train merchandises along the aisle during the train journey. Small sections of the train are dedicated as observation lounges where the seats are arranged to face the windows. Do look out for the train's commemorative boarding pass and inked stamp while on board the train. 

Top: Osumi Yokogawa JR Station; Bottom: Kareigawa JR Station
Train makes a brief stop (5 mins) at two of the oldest train stations Osumi Yokogawa JR Station (大隅横河駅) and Kareigawa JR Station (嘉例川駅) along Hisatsu line. Both unmanned train stations were made of wood and have been around for more than a century. After departing from Hayato JR Station, the train cruises along the circumference of Kinko Bay, with Sakaurajima coming into sight. This is the best time to make your way to the observation lounge to capture this majestic active volcano through the camera lens.

Best ekiben. Something that I missed out was the ekiben (百年の旅物語かれい川) that is only available on board Hayato no kaze. JR Kyushu holds a campaign to select the best ekiben annually and this particular ekiben has won the competition thrice! However, to grab your hands on this award winning ekiben, it is not so straightforward. This ekiben is only made upon order, therefore reservation needs to be made at least 3 days in advance at JR Kyushu Travel Center or midori no madoguchi, located at major train station. Do note that this ekiben is not available on Hayato no kaze 2.

Hayato no kaze collar pin

Commemorative boarding pass and stamp:

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