A cozy ride along the gorgeous Sanriku Coast in Iwate wrapped up under a warm kotatsu table
There’s no better way to spend winter in Japan than being bundled up under a warm kotatsu (a heated table with a blanket attached to it), and in Iwate Prefecture you can experience it while riding a train along a gorgeous coast! Every winter the Sanriku Railway, which stretches from Ofunato City to Kuji City on Iwate’s coast, hosts a special kotatsu train where the seats are transformed into kotatsu tables, allowing passengers to warm themselves up during their ride. Kotatsu trains also include a retro themed train, and a train where local traditional performances can be enjoyed on board. The villages along the Sanriku Coast, as well as the Sanriku Railway itself, suffered immense tragedy from the tsunami of 2011, but the region has gone to great depths to rebuild its towns and the railway, and it is now ready to give visitors a heartfelt welcome. A visit to the Sanriku Coast allows you not only to enjoy breathtaking scenery and incredible seafood, but also to hear local stories of resilience and recovery.