Western Kyoto known for its natural settings, and Sagano Scenic Railway has heightens the experience of viewing them. The Romantic Train by Sagano Scenic Railway, a train with a classic profile, brings nostalgic values of olden freight trains, with car no.5 “The Rich”, having no windows, allow visitors to connect with nature even closely, where the breeze from the river gently sweep their faces, and riding the train in different season will show visitors the different faces of Kyoto’s nature.
Sagano Scenic Railway
What is even more romantic than walking around and enjoying the natural settings of Arashiyama, an outskirt district in the western part of Kyoto, located near the mountains with a river crossing land? That is enjoying the scenic view in a classic-looking train along the river and across the mountains.
Sagano Scenic Railway, also known as Sagano Romantic Train, is a sightseeing train, where visitors can enjoy the slow-paced scenic view of the mountains along the Hozugawa River. The track which covers a distance of 7.3km took about 25 minutes to finish its journey from the Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station.
Established in 1991, the Sagano Romantic Train is designed with a classical feel, attached to a diesel-locomotive head and 5 cars with retro interior design with wooden chair, brings out the nostalgic feeling of the olden trains. The car no.5 is a special car, named as “The Rich”. It is an open-designed car without any window, so fresh breeze from the ravine will gently blow your face during your journey. Regardless of the name, the ticket pricing for “The Rich” is particularly the same as standard ticket (630 yen for adult), but it can only be bought on the day itself.
- Spot name: Saga Torokko Station
- Street address: 26-2 Sagatenryuji Kurumamichicho, Ukyo, Kyoto, Kyoto 616-8373
- 15 minutes on JR San-in Line from Kyoto Station to Saga Arashiyama Station
- 1 minutes-walk from Saga Arashiyama Station
How to Get Sagano Scenic Railway Ticket
The ticket priced at 630 yen for adult (320 yen for children) is a one-way ticket regardless of the traveled distance. So to get the most out of the ticket, it would be great idea to ride the train from the first terminal to the last without getting off at any of the station in between, well that is if you don’t have any other activities that requires you to do so. The tickets will be deemed invalid once you get-off at any of the stops, and a new purchase is required should you want to ride the train again.
The seats on this train are all non-smoking reserved seats therefore there will be a limited number of slots available daily. There are 2 kinds of ticketing purchases for the Sagano Scenic Railway:
Advance Ticket Sales
Visitors can purchase the ticket 1 month prior to the ride date at travel agencies all over Japan, or the Midori-no-Madoguchi which can be found at major JR west stations. This method of purchasing is only available for car no.1 to can no.4. Advance purchasing is not available for the open-designed car no.5 “The Rich”.
Tickets can be bought on the day itself at east of the 4 stations of the Sagano Scenic Railway line. “The Rich” car no.5 can only be bought as Day-of Ticket. Visitors that have already purchase the ticket in advance may exchange for “The Rich” ticket on the day itself depending on availability. If the reserved tickets sold out, a small number of standing ticket will be made available.
Sagano Scenic Railway Schedule
There are a total of 8 trains per day that runs from Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station, and another 8 trains on the reverse route. The trains depart from each station at every 1 hour interval, where the first train from Saga Torokko Station departs at 9:01am (last train at 4.01pm), and the first from Kameoka Torokko Station is at 9.29am (last train at 4.29pm).
There will also be some days that Sagano Scenic Railway will have an extended operation (extra train), but please check with the calendar on the availability of the extended train to avoid any inconvenience happen to your travel planning.
Sagano Scenic Railway is particularly popular during the peak Sakura season of spring and during the falling leaves season of autumn, but that should not be a problem because the train offers different scenic views in all 4 different seasons: Sakura in spring, lushes of green in summer, falling red leaves in autumn, and white in winter.
The train is not operating on most Wednesday, except for public holidays or during certain peak holiday season. Do check with the train’s schedule beforehand if you are planning to go on Wednesday. Other than that, the operating period during the winter season is particularly short, because the train will be out of service from the end of December, until the end of the next February.