Have you seen a steam train before? If you have seen one before, I bet (if you have any) your children have not seen one before. There is a steam locomotive train with an engine model C571 that was built by Kawasaki in 1937. The train has been well preserved until now and runs between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station and Tsuwano Station.
Maybe your heart will beat faster when you see this special train coming and giving off its steam with a strong whistle. The SL Yamaguchi-go steam train can cover a distance of 62.9km in two hours. When you ride on the train, you can see old Japanese houses and the scenery of rice paddies and mountains along the way.
The locomotive train, popularly known as “the lady”, was built by Kawasaki in 1937 and has been carefully preserved ever since then, making it a popular tourist attraction train. It is a retro five-coach train with the coaches all having different designs from each other. One of the joys of the train is the love that people give it when you leave every stop. If you board, chances are you will get a goodbye wave from the people on the platform.
The ticket is not really costly as a one-way ticket from Shin-Yamaguchi to Tsuwano (Shimane prefecture) as it costs an adult 1,660 yen. The same will cost a child 830 yen. When it is a round trip, it will cost double the price of the one-way ticket.
When the locomotive train chugs up to a platform, like something out of the fairytale, your heart skips a beat. Riding it through the unspoiled scenery of Yamaguchi prefecture is one experience worth boarding a plane to Japan for. Everything in the SL Yamaguchi-go steam train is just like a Victorian storybook. From the cabin to the hand-painted signs to the huge clouds of steam, it will be like nothing you have ever experienced before.
Each carriage carries different history corresponding to the interior design. The carriage is divided into Taisho, Meiji, Western style, Showa and a viewing car. The classy seats, lamps, chandelier lighting fixtures and curtain rod are some of the things it features.
The train is so popular that you need to book in advance to be able to ride in it. However, make sure you close the windows so you won’t find yourself covered with soot! Safe journey!