Furano Biei Norokko Train
Take a ride on a torokko train and enjoy one of Japan’s most spectacular views!
- Main route
Asahikawa Station or Biei Station – Furano Station
- Route map
- Popular spots & gourmet
The Story Behind The Train
July is the perfect time to see lavenders in bloom
A patchwork of pastoral hills and gorgeous fields of lavender form the backdrop for the route of JR Hokkaido’s Furano Biei Norokko Train, a torokko ressha (sightseeing locomotive) that offers visitors a chance to experience the vast natural beauty of central Hokkaido firsthand.
The train’s name, Norokko, is a portmanteau of the Japanese phrase noro hashiru (to run slowly) and the word torokko ressha. Every year, from June to September, the train operates three round trips per day between Asahikawa Station or Biei Station and Furano Station. The travel time from Biei to Furano is around one hour, while the trip between Asahikawa and Furano takes around one hour and 40 minutes.
The train consists of a diesel locomotive, whose brightly-colored exterior evokes the rolling hills and lavender fields of the surrounding countryside, and three retro-style coaches (the locomotive used may vary depending on the season).
Inside the coaches are wooden bench seats that seat two and box seats for six furnished with wooden tables. The bench seats are uniquely equipped with movable backrests that can be adjusted to face either the window or the aisle, allowing passengers to easily switch positions to ensure they don’t miss any of the marvelous scenery. Both reserved and unreserved seats are available, but due to this train’s popularity, it’s best to make a reservation to ensure you get the seat you want.
All passengers receive a complimentary train ride certificate
As you begin your trip and board the Furano Biei Norokko Train, you will see its retro trolley-style interior and large, expansive windows. When the weather is pleasant, these windows are opened wide, letting the fresh Hokkaido breeze flow through the car. The complimentary Furano Biei Norokko Train Ride Certificate given to all passengers adds a nice touch to the travel experience.
A big draw for this train line is that it passes along some of Japan’s most spectacular scenery. The train slows down between Biei Station and Bibaushi Station so passengers can get better views, and you can see a single, picturesque, red-roofed house that sits quietly amid the vast countryside landscape, as well as between Lavender Farm Station and Nakafurano Station, where the hillsides are beautifully blanketed with purple lavender flowers. Be sure to capture these breathtaking scenes in photos—they make great social media posts!
When the Furano Biei Norokko Train is in service, a temporary station called Lavender Farm Station is also open. The Farm Tomita, popular for its vast fields of lavenders, is just seven minutes’ walk from this station.
*The best time to see the lavenders is from mid to late July.
*The images are for reference. The actual train may differ from what is shown.
■In-train guidance (English, Chinese) ＝◎
■Free Wi-Fi＝△ (Available for reserved seats)
■Electrical outlets ＝×
■Restroom＝◎ (Japanese style)
■Designated wheelchair spaces＝△ (wheelchair storage available)