NOTE: Due to inspection and repair, there will be no steam train operations for 2020.
Chichibu Railway is the easiest to visit of the three steam trains we have mentioned in this corner. Take the northbound Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kumagaya. Alternatively if you are staying in western Tokyo, you mind find it easier to take the private Seibu Line to Chichibu station. Then, the Ohanabatake station is about a 5 minute walk away.
The C58-363 steam locomotive was made in 1944 and ran in the Tohoku region before being brought here in 1987.
The slopes of Histujiyama Koen are known for the pink moss in late April to early May.
In addition to the regular fares, you also need to purchase a special ticket to gain entrance to the steam train; Car 1 is reserved seats (720 JPY/can be booked through a JR Ticket Office in the Tokyo area. Online reservations are not available.) and Cars 2-4 are non-reserved and 520 JPY. You can easily purchase a non-reserved ticket before you board on the day of the travel, but strangely the reserved seats are only sold at the JR stations and not at any of the Chichibu Rail stations!
|Kumagaya --> Mitsumineguchi||Weekday*||Sa/Su/Hol|
|Mistumineguchi --> Kumagaya||Weekday*||Sa/Su/Hol|
|*Weekday runs are very limited, usually in summer only|