Tohoku’s KOTATSU train!

The winter in Tohoku is well known for being extremely cold. So cold, in fact, that almost nobody wants to spend too long outside!

But there is one special thing I would like to recommend everybody to try in winter…


Have you ever heard about the fantastic Japanese invention called the Kotatsu? If you haven’t, then I’m sorry, but you have never truly lived. A Kotatsu is a special Japanese-style table complete with in-built heater and blanket cover. During cold winter days and nights, you can climb under the Kotatsu to avoid your feet from freezing solid.

And this, my friends, is the next best thing – a scenic train completely fitted-out with dozens of cozy Kotatsu tables!!

While traveling on the Kotatsu train, you can also enjoy the best scenery of the beautiful Sanriku coastline of Iwate and the wide Pacific Ocean.

The train departs from Kuji station bound for Miyako station and will return to Kuji again.

The tracks wind their way alongside the coast and through tunnels under the numerous mountains along the way.

With the Pacific Ocean outside my window, I also had a taste of the ocean on my plate – unidon!! A whole delicious bowl of sea-urchin, on rice.

Many of the tiny coastal towns along the Sanriku coastline are a way out into the countryside – quiet places with few foreign visitors. The whole area is simply unspoiled – my eyes were full of nothing but amazing coastal scenery that I could not have imagined before going on this journey.

I almost completely forgot the pressures of my everyday busy life and could feel my mind and body relax, soothed by the fantastic scenery.

Tohoku in winter might be cold but don’t hesitate to visit!! The locals have the best innovations for making the most of all the seasons. All aboard the cozy Kotatsu train for a unique transport experience you will never forget (just good luck getting out from under the warm covers at the end!!)


How to get there/Important Information:

Kuji Station:


Train ticket: Kuji –> Miyako (one way) ¥1850

Unidon: ¥1700

For more details (and the most updated information) please consult the official webpage (in Japanese only).


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