Hokkaido's Top 5 Tourism Trains You Cannot Afford to Miss!

Hokkaido's Local Train Line spans across Hokkaido's magnificent land and shows you scenes that cannot be seen anywhere else in Japan. In this article, we're going to be introducing 5 of our most recommended tourism trains which you simply must ride during your visit to Hokkaido! 

※Due to COVID-19 rules and regulations, certain train information may differ from that stated within this article. For further and more up-to-date information, please ensure to check each individual train line's homepage prior to planning your visit.

1. SL Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Train

This is a winter train that breaks through the snow as it blows its steam whistle. From the window, you're able to see things such as Hokkaido Sika deer, and maybe even a red-crowned crane if you're lucky! The train staff wears retro uniforms, and you're able to take pictures with them to commemorate your journey, purchase exclusive items and bento boxes from the on-train shop, and even buy some food items to grill on the stove which is available to use on the train.


  • Route: Kushiro Station⇔Kushiroshitsugen Station⇔Shibecha Station
  • Period of Service: The end of January Saturdays + Sundays, February mainly Thursday through Sunday
  • Fare:
    • Adult one-way 1290 JPY + Reserved seat 840 JPY
    • Child (6-12 Years) half price, infants and children under 6 go free
  • ※All seats are reserved only. Reservation is REQUIRED prior to riding.

2. Ryuhyo Monogatari Train

The Ryuhyo Monogatari Train runs alongside the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk during winter. This is a train that allows you to see the great Sea of Okhotsk during your journey as well as a host of other dynamic sites. You're also able to see some drift ice from the observation deck you'll find at the station.


  • Route:Abashiri Station⇔Shiretokoshari Station (2 round trips per day)
  • Period of Service:Late January - Late February
  • Fare:Adult one-way 970 JPY, Child (6-12 Years) half price, infants and children under 6 go free
  • ※All seats non-reserved.

3. Furano Biei Norokko Train

This is a heritage railway train that runs a scenic route from the beginning of summer all the way to fall through the Furano Line. Within the train's carriages, you'll find wooden benches with wide windows which you can look out of onto the surrounding nature. Alongside the route, you'll be able to see scenes of Biei's hill, as well as large fields of lavender during the summer, and snowtopped mountains which are famous within Hokkaido.


  • Route:Asahikawa Station⇔Biei Station⇔Lavender-Farm Station⇔Furano Station
  • Period of Service:Mid July - End of August on Sat/Sun/Public Holidays
  • Fare:Asahikawa Station⇔Furano Station / one-way 1290 JPY Reserved Seat 530 JPY
  • ※Child (6-12 Years) half price, infants and children under 6 go free
  • ※Seat reservations can be made up to 1 month in advance.

4. Furano Lavender Express

This train is a 2-hour direct journey from Sapporo to Furano that has various sightseeing locations you're able to see on your trip. It typically runs during the summer months when the well-known lavender fields within Biei, Furano are in season. It's especially popular during July. There are some exclusive goods you're able to purchase from within the in-train store.


  • Route:Sapporo⇔Furano
  • Period of Service:Mid July - Late August on Sat/Sun/Public Holidays 2 round trips per day
  • Fare:Sapporo⇔Furano / one-way Adult 2860 JPY Express non-reserved seats 1860 JPY, Express reserved seats 2390 JPY
  • Child (6-12 Years) half price, infants and children under 6 go free

5. Kushiro Marsh Norokko

This is a popular train where you can casually enjoy the sights of the swamplands to the east of Hokkaido. It only runes during spring and fall, and has you riding for approximately 1 hour until Tōro Station where you can see small wetlands and lakes. It slows down during especially beautiful sightseeing spots so you're able to enjoy them to your heart's content.


  • Route:Kushiro⇔Tōro
  • Period of Service:April - October Weekends + Public Holidays 3 round-trips per day
  • Fare:Adult one-way 640 JPY reserved seat 530 JPY, Child (6-12 Years) half price, infants and children under 6 go free
  • ※Seat reservations can be made up to 1 month in advance.

For more information, check out the JR Hokkaido Tourist Train Guide at the URL below!