The kotatsu train   こたつ列車

Date of publication :

A Cosy Train

A winter trip along the Sanriku coast (Tohoku), wrapped up under a warm kotatsu: Welcome to the cosy train!

If you're tempted by a warm trip in the icy winter of northern Japan, know that a cosy, charming locomotive runs in Iwate Prefecture, between the towns of Kuji and Tanohata (50 km east of Morioka). Its secret: a car fully equipped with kotatsu, low heated tables that include blankets, found in many Japanese houses.

Operated by the company Sanriku (also the name of Japan's northern Pacific coast), the line was closed after the earthquake of March 11th, 2011.  It restarted in the winter of 2013 and now runs every day in early January and on weekends and holidays December through March.

Warm up under one of the 12 kotatsu, and enjoy the snowy coastal scenery and bento made ​​with local ingredients including fish and seafood caught from the nearby coast. 

A one way (one hour) ticket is 1260 yen, and expect 2100 yen for the return (2 hours). To book, please contact Sanriku customer service at 0193-62-8900, from 9 am to 6 pm (Japan time).

Please note, the website of the Sanriku company is entirely in Japanese.

Comments Read comments from our travellers