Kushiro Shitsugen (Kushiro marsh=釧路湿原) is national park and has the largest marsh wetland in Japan. It is well known as the home of endangered Japanese Cranes (丹頂鶴). JR Hokkaido’s Senmo line goes through this wetland and gives you a great scenery. Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train (釧路湿原ノロッコ号) is operated on this line from late April to late September. This is the easiest way to enjoy a day excursion in Kushiro Shitsugen from Kushiro. And Kushiro can be reached by Limited Express Super Ozora from Sapporo easily. Both Super Ozora and Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.
Let’s see the detail about this train.
Route and schedule
Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train is operated between Kushiro (釧路) and Toro (塘路). This train usually start to run in late April and it runs until September. Please find the latest operation dates at Seasonal trains information.B
All trains are connected with Limited Express Super Ozora at Kushiro. Even though it is super tight, a day trip from Sapporo to Kushiro marsh can be made.
Norokko is a combination word of “Noroi” and “Torokko” in Japanese. “Noroi” means very slow. Torokko originally means an open air mine cart. But Torokko means an open air observation car in these days. This is very popular type of fleet for cruising train during summer time. On the other hand, this train does not give you any luxury atmosphere. There are the wood bench seats only. But you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and the fresh air from the nature of Hokkaido.
|Kushiro (釧路)||X||Connect with Limited Express Super Ozora|
|Kushiro Shitsugen (釧路湿原)||X||Access to Hosooka view point and visitors lounge|
|Toro (塘路)||X||Access to Lake Toro|
The train crew is on board. They guide about Kushiro marshland (in Japanese) and sell drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Hosooka view point is one of the best point to see Kushiro marshland. It is 20 minutes away from Kushiro Shitsugen station. Be careful that it is not from Hosooka station.
Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train is extended to operate until October. And also the train goes to Kawayu Onsen from Kushiro via Kushiro marsh.
Please check the latest information at Seasonal trains Schedule.
View Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko in a larger map
Accommodation and train formation
This train is operated by open air observation car (=Torokko in Japanese). But this train has one regular seat car. There are reserved seat and non reserved. But the accommodations are completely same. There are the wood bench seat except one regular seat car (non reserved car).
Interior of observation car by Rsa [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Interior of regular seat car by Rsa [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Exterior at Toro station by SElefant [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non reserved ordinary seat NR(R)=Non reserved ordinary seat (Regular seat car)