Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko Train Season Begins in Hokkaido; Scenic Delights Await Passengers on 35th Anniversary Journey

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers on the Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko Train enjoy the magnificent scenery of the wetlands along the Kushiro River in Hokkaido on April 27.

KUSHIRO, Hokkaido — The Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko Train, a tourist train on the JR Senmo Line that runs through the Kushiro Wetland, began its seasonal run on April 27. The first train departed on that day from Kushiro Station in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and covered the 27.2-kilometer section to Toro Station in Shibecha, Hokkaido, in about 50 minutes. The train slowed down in a scenic spot along the Kushiro River, allowing passengers to enjoy the magnificent scenery and feel the breeze.

“My daughter said she really wanted to see the wetlands, so we decided to take the train. We were lucky to be able to ride on the opening day. It was great to see the beautiful scenery,” said a 43-year-old man from Kobe who visited with his family.

His 9-year-old daughter said, “It’s so exciting to see the skunk cabbage and Ezo deer!”

The sightseeing train, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, has carried 2.15 million passengers since it began operations in 1989. The seasonal tourist train will run until Oct. 6. On certain days, it will feature special events, such as sunset rides, allowing passengers to see the beautifully colored sky over the wetlands.