JR East runs the "SL Minakami" train mostly on weekends during the summer and limited runs during spring and autumn between Takasaki and Minakami, about 60km to the north.
The D51 498 Engine dates back to 1940.
Extra stops at Shibukawa Station and Numata Station gives passengers plenty of chances for photos and also visitors can view the engine being maintained at the Minakami Station where the engine is rotated around and gets ready for the trip back to Takasaki.
Takasaki can be easily accessed from Tokyo on the Niigata or Kanazawa-bound Shinkansen.
You need to get a seat assignment, which goes on sale a month before the run.
Takasaki to Minakami
9：56 Takasaki dept
10:30/11:00 Shibukawa arr/dept
11:28/11:35 Numata arr/dept
12:03 Minakami arr
Minakami to Takasaki
15:20 Minakami dept
15:52 Numata dept
16:21 Shibukawa arr
17:13 Takasaki arr
Visitors can view the turntable and crew doing maintenance once the train arrives at Minakami.
(Left) How the seats look.