Seto Inland Sea's Seto District and the Japanese Sea's Mountain Recess. The Chūgoku region is filled with picturesque views of the sea with many tourist trains willing to give you an unforgettable experience. We're going to introduce our top 5 to you today in this article.
1. etSETOra (West Japan Railway Company)
This is a tourist train that will allow you to fully enjoy the Seto Inland Sea's Shimanami. The name of the train is a combination of "Excetora" with the Japanese word "Etto" to include the name "SETO". It runs from Hiroshima Station to Onomichi Station on the Kure Line alongside the coastline of the Sero Inland Sea. Onomachi Station to Miyajimaguchi Station runs inland. Within this service, you're able to see many different sights on the outward and return journey allowing you to fully enjoy all of the sights the train line has.
- Route：（Outward）Hiroshima Station→Onomichi Station、（Return）Onomichi Station→Miyajimaguchi Station
- Schedule：All-year-round Mon/Fri/Sat/Sun/Public Holidays 1 Round-trip per Day
- Time：(One-way) Approx. 2 hours 16 mins - 3 hours
- Fee：（Outward Trip Max） Adult 2,520 JPY, Child 1,760 JPY
- （Return Trip Max） Adult 3,680 JPY, Child 2,690 JPY
2. Marumaru no Hanashi（West Japan Railway Company）
This tourist train runs alongside the beautiful coastline of the Japanese sea. It has been crafted in the image of a combination of both western and Japanese influences, with train cart 1 being Japanese styled and train cart 2 being more western in appearance. Its route spells the Japanese word for "story" (Hanashi) due to it traveling through Hagi, Nagato, and Shimonoseki, and has various entertainment events which will teach you and make you think of the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. If you make reservations in advance you're also able to try some amazing and exclusive boxed lunches.
- Route： Shin-Shimonoseki Station — Higashi-Hagi Station
- Schedule：All-year-round Sat/Sun/Public Holidays 1 Round-trip per day
- Time：One-way approx. 3 hours
- Fee：Adult Ticket 1,980 + Seat Reservation 530 JPY / Child 990 + 260 JPY
3. DL "Yamaguchi" and SL "Yamaguchi"（West Japan Railway Company）
During the average year, the SL "Yamaguchi" runs from March, however, due to the steam train requiring repairs and inspection, in March of 2021, the DL Yamaguchi will take its place on the Yamaguchi Line from Shin-Yamaguchi Station to Tsuwano Station for a limited time.
You don't often see diesel trains center stage anymore, but they were once something to be amazed at! You're able to enjoy and feel a nostalgic atmosphere within retro boxcars with tables almost as if you've traveled through time. Don't forget to take your eyes off the beautiful interior to check out all the amazing sights to see outside your window! You're also able to purchase some souvenirs at the sales counter onboard.
- Route：Shin-Yamaguchi Station～Tsuwano Station
- Schedule：（2021 Mar〜Sep 35 Days Only）
- March 20, 21, 27, 28
- April 3、4、10、11、29、30
- May 1、2、3、4、5
- July 17、18、22、23、24、25、31
- August 1、7、8、9、14、15、21、22、28、29
- September 18、19、20
- Time：(One-way) Approx. 2 hours 10 mins
- Fee：Max Adult 1,700 JPY / Child 840 JPY
4. Ametsuchi（West Japan Railway Company）
The San-in region of western Honshu is rich in nature, shrines, Japanese sake, classical Japanese drama (kabuki), sumo wrestling, and much more Japanese culture. This train has been designed with its route in mind, with a "Native Japanese" image, allowing people to experience "Old, New Japan". The interior of the train uses wooden panels, and the walls, floor, and ceiling have accents detailing the colors of the Japanese sea and the mountains. Local San'in handicrafts are also being used within the train. There are many amazing sights to see while riding the train including the Japanese sea where the train will reduce its speed so allow passengers to see it in all its glory as well as the relaxed and nature-filled scenery that surrounds the train line.
On the onboard shop, you're able to buy various local and exclusive products and drinks. If you make reservations in advance you're also able to try some local foods.
- Schedule：Mainly Sat/Sun/Mon/Public Holidays
- Time：Outward Journey Approx. 3 hours 30 minutes, Return Journey 3 hours 50 minutes
- Fee：Adult Max 4,630 JPY / Child 3,310 JPY
5. Okuizumo Orochi（West Japan Railway Company）
This train's main stage is Izumo Shinwa. It's a popular course that runs through Okuizumo's mountains. It has wooden seats and flooring, a retro style as well as a retro station building, a zig-zag railway known as a switchback, and runs through tunnels with illuminations! It's amazing to ride during summer or fall when the colors are superbly bright and beautiful. At the onboard shop, you're able to purchase boxed lunches and sweets that use local ingredients.
- Route：Dentetsu-Izumoshi StationーKisuki StationーBingo-Ochiai Station
- Schedule：4/18/2021 - 11/23/2021 Fri/Sat/Sun/Public Holidays (Including Golden Week / Summer Holidays / Autumn Period). 1 Round-trip per day
- Time：One-way approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
- Adult Ticket 1,980 + Seat Reservation 530 JPY / Child 990 + 260 JPY
Pictures Provided by：West Japan Railway Company