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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Furano-Biei Norokko Train 富良野・美瑛ノロッコ号

Travelled 12.07.2012


Biei JR Station (1508 hrs) > Lavender Farm Station (1543 hrs)
Fee = 440 yen + 300 yen for reserved seats = 740 yen

Furano-Biei Norokko train is a limited period service on the Furano line, available during the summer period from June to August. There are a total of three such train service per direction, per day and this is the only train that makes a stop at Lavender Farm station, a temporary station within walking distance to Farm Tomita in Nakafurano. Boarded the last Norokko train service bound for Furano for the day and alighted at Lavender Farm station. Later found out that the signature colourful train locomotive was under repair and a replacement was used for that day.


Highlights: 

  • Train moves much slower than usual, at 85 km/h. Allows passengers to view the scenery more closely along the route between Furano and Biei/Asahikawa. 
  • A boarding certificate is issued to all passengers - proof that you have been on this limited period train service! Design of the certificate changes every year, thus explains its exclusivity. A commemorative stamp is also available in the reserved seats carriage, which you can imprint on your boarding certificate. 
  • Part of seats in the reserved seats carriage faces the train windows directly, allowing passengers to sit back and admire the scenery outside (without straining their necks).
  • A shop in the reserved seats carriage which sells simple snacks and drinks and Norokko train merchandises. Bought a nanoblock, a miniature representation of Furano-Biei Norokko train for 1,000 yen.
  • When the train approaches an attractive spot, crew will make an announcement through the PA system to alert passengers to divert their attention to the scenery outside. However, all the announcements are made in Japanese. 

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