A nostalgic steam locomotive that still operates on the Oigawa Railway
The Oigawa Main Line is an Oigawa Railway route which runs from north to south along the Oi River in Haibara District, Shizuoka Prefecture. The old Kintetsu express train still has its original paint before its transfer to the Oigawa Railway. You can still view these old-fashioned train cars with your very eyes. When it comes to the pride of the Oigawa Railway, there is the steam engine. The SL Kawane Express that runs on the railway is a steam engine that was built in the early Showa Era, and if this were a car, this would be a classic. It is a special round-trip train but it operates daily once a day between Shin-Kanaya and Senzu Stations. And on special occasions such as national holidays, the runs can increase up to 2 or 3 round trips a day. Reservations are required to board the Kawane which can be made from 125 days to 2 days before the day of boarding on the website for Oigawa Railway.
There is the beautiful view from the windows but there is also much to enjoy on the train, too!
The SL Kawane Express takes 1 hour and 20 minutes from Shin-Kanaya Station to Senzu Station. Right by the first stop of Ieyama Station, there is an area along the line which is famous for its cherry blossoms. On leaving Nukuri Station, the train crosses over the Oi River and passes through Kawaneonsen-Sasamado Station. Along the river, there is an open-air bath from which the sight of bathers waving their hands at the SL can be seen. A huge tea plantation with Kawane Tea growing there can be seen beyond Tanoguchi Station. It is a beautiful view that evokes the image of Shizuoka as the nation’s teahouse. While the view outside of the train windows is great, what happens inside the train is also something to behold. The male and female conductors come into the cars to perform old songs on harmonica and talk with the passengers to enliven the mood inside the SL. Also on the train, there is a shop where you can purchase goods that can’t be bought anywhere else such as dorayaki pancakes branded with the SL driving wheel design and an alarm clock modeled after the SL itself. The bento lunches have to be reserved in advance up to noon the day before boarding.