Trains are an integral part of Japanese society and have been so for hundreds of years. Rail lines connect the entire country, from local commuter trains to the high speed bullet train that links the nation from east to west.
Steam engines once dominated the locomotive landscape in Japan but over time, progress dictated change and gas, electricity and even batteries have taken over. Many of the steam engines that were so crucial to opening up the countryside now sit in designated spots around the country as museum pieces. However, there are a few exceptions.
The SL Yamaguchi-go is a beautiful deep black iron steam engine train that is in limited operation between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station and JR Tsuwano Station. Running from the end of March to the beginning of November, this retro train line is a favorite for those who want a slow look at the rich countryside of the western Chugoku area.
The start of the SL Yamaguchi-go season is a festival in itself. Brass bands from local schools come out to herald the a new year of service for the train. It is quite a spectacle with train enthusiasts and entire families coming out for a ride on one of the special coaches pulled by the engine.
Decorated with a Meiji era interior that is reminiscent of 19th century European trains, you can experience the sights and sounds that are only possible on a steam locomotive. The toot of the whistle and the slow yet persistent churning of the pistons of the engine turn up the level of excitement as passengers gaze out the windows of this luxurious train.
The two hour journey takes you through the lush mountains and valleys of Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefecture and finally to the historic town of Tsuwano, where you can continue to experience the best of West Japan.
1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).
|Cancellation Date||Up to 21 days prior||20-8 days prior||7-2 days prior||Day prior to start of tour||Day of tour||After start of tour/non-participation with no contact|
|Cancellation Fee||No charge||20% of tour fee||30% of tour fee||40% of tour fee||50% of tour fee||100% of tour fee|