Orange Shokudo Train Celebrates Decade of Scenic Dining

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Many gather to see off the Orange Shokudo commemorative train at JR Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima City on Friday.

The Orange Shokudo sightseeing train, which Hisatsu Orange Railway operates, powered its 10th anniversary on Friday.

A ceremony for the departure of the commemorative train took place at JR Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima City as company representatives and others gathered to celebrate the milestone.

Stretching between Yatsushiro in Kumamoto Prefecture and Satsuma-Sendai in Kagoshima Prefecture, the Orange Shokudo is a two-car train that has been in service since March 2013. Traveling between Sendai and Shin-Yatsushiro stations, passengers are treated to exquisite French and Japanese dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, while soaking in the picturesque views of the East China Sea and Yatsushiro Sea.

This past decade, the unique train has provided service to 80,000 passengers, according to the company.

Mitsuyo Furumori, the 62-year-old company president, expressed her gratitude at the departure ceremony: “We have made it to this day by overcoming challenges such as heavy rains and the novel coronavirus. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone along the way.”

On this special day, the commemorative train entered Kagoshima-Chuo Station, and those in attendance waved orange flags to see off the departing train.

“This is my fifth time riding the train,” said passenger Hiroko Yoshino, 52, a company employee from Tokyo.

“The interior is beautiful, and its closeness to the sea is a unique charm that’s not on other sightseeing trains.”