Take a trip to the past in this 1950s-era Japanese ‘stove train.’ By Gayatri Moodliar
In Japan, it’s easy to imagine bullet trains slicing through the roads at speeds that get other countries gunning to produce the same. With top speeds of more than 300 km/hr, suggesting a ride that strolls at a top speed of 50 km/hr seems unusual. But the ‘stove train’ of Tsugaru Railway Line is a snow-clad trip that takes place during Tsugaru’s bitter winter. And with its rustic charm, it’s attracting more than just new passengers itching to experience a vintage train journey; older audiences are also finding their way back to re-live the past.
If you’re worried about the weather, you needn’t be—the name of the train is the key to staying warm. As a part of the railway’s thematic offerings that vary according to the season, the winter stove train has a pot-bellied stove in every car that serves as a rustic version of the water-cooler meeting spot.
It’s also where items such as squid are cooked and served on-board the 1950s-era train during the 45-minute ride.
While the journey may seem short, it takes you through the wintry maze that the area becomes, showcasing all the quaint cottages en route Tsugaru Goshogawara Station to Tsugaru Nakasato Station.
The journey will continue till the end of March, so if you’re planning on going to Japan, you should definitely include this 400-yen ride in your plan.