Furano Biei Norokko Train - Hokkaido

Japan is home to dozens of unique-looking trains. As a matter of fact, there are even people who are obsessed with these trains. They are commonly called densha otaku or train nerds. Some made it a life goal to take pictures of them (tori-tetsu) and those vowed to ride all of them (nori-tetsu). 

Furano Biei Norokko Train

Furano Biei Norokko Train details

Hokkaido Prefecture is home to one of the "sought after" trains by these densha otakus. The Furano Biei Norokko Train is a seasonal train that runs only in summer (usually around early June to late September). 

Furano Biei Norokko Train - Hokkaido

The Furano Biei Norokko Train goes from Asahikawa JR Station to Furano JR Station and vice versa. It also stops at Lavander Batake Station which is exclusive to this train. This station is about 7-10 minutes away from Tomita Farm's Lavender Field which is considered the most popular destination in Furano.

Furano Biei Norokko Train at Biei Station

The name Norokko comes from the combination of the Japanese words "noroi" which means very slow and "torokko" which means an open-air observation car.

Furano Biei Norokko Train logo

You would surely enjoy the view with its large open-air windows

As mentioned, the Furano Biei Norokko Train is an open-air observation car. Unlike the common trains, the seat on one side of the train faces the window which makes it perfect for viewing the lavender fields. On the other hand, the other side is set up like a restaurant complete with a table.

There is a heater in one of the carriages

Each side of the Furano Biei Norokko Train has large windows

Inside the Furano Biei Norokko Train

The bear print decoration inside the train

Another unique aspect of the Furano Biei Norokko Train is that the engine is at the back pushing the carriages. Speaking of which, this train only has 3 carriages. Carriages 1 and 2 are reserved whilst Carriage 3 is for non-reserved seating. I highly suggest that you reserve during the peak season which is mid-July to early August. 



Furano Biei Norokko Train Memorial Ride Certificate 2022

My family and I got to ride the Furano Biei Norokko Train last June 25, 2022, which was my 236th day here in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher under the JET Programme. It was actually an unplanned ride and we got to board this special train by chance on our way to Biei. 

Team Nicerio rides the Furano Biei Norokko Train




Luckily, we were told that the lavenders were not in full bloom yet so knowing that gave me peace of mind that I didn't waste my chance of going to Furano. During our trip, we were given calling-card-sized memorial certificates to commemorate our ride. Overall, given a chance, I'd like to board the train again someday. Next time, when the lavender fields are in full bloom. 


Furano Biei Norokko Train Fare:

The basic fare for a trip from Asahikawa to the last stop which is Furano is 1290 yen one way. The fare is of course cheaper if you're boarding down at a nearer station. 

Furano Biei Norokko Train Operating Dates:

Furano Biei Norokko Train operates from early June to late September.

Furano Biei Norokko Train Stations:

Asahikawa - Biei - Bibaushi - Kamifurano - Lavander Batake - Nakafurano

Why ride the Furano Biei Norokko Train?

If you're a densha otaku, then the mere existence of this train would already answer that question but for most, the unique experience of riding the Furano Biei Norokko Train and the beautiful sceneries along the way is the top reason why you should try it out.  

Where to board the Furano Biei Norokko Train

From Sapporo, you can ride the bus or train to Asahikawa Station. Once there, check for the updated schedule of the train. I highly recommend that you start from Asahikawa if you are not in a hurry to go to the lavender fields. 

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Comments

  1. This train looks unique. I would love to ride it in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should. However, I suggest that you time it when the lavender fields are in full bloom.

      Delete

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