This is a seasonal operation of Limited Express Okhotsk that connect Sapporo (札幌) and Abashiri (網走) in Hokkaido. This train is operated from late January to early March for Ryuhyo (流氷=Drift ice) viewing. The operation, like time required and route, is completely same as Limited Express Okhotsk. But this seasonal train is operated by specialized car. The accommodation is much better than regular train of Limited Express Okhotsk.
You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see the details.
Route, schedule and time required
One round trip of this train is operated between Sapporo and Abashiri. As I mentioned, this train is operated on completely same route as Limited Express Okhotsk. It takes 5 hours 30 minutes to get Abashiri from Sapporo. So it is quite long trip. Please refer the post of Limited Express Okhotsk too.
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View Okhotsk in a larger map
Okhotsk is operated by KIHA 183 series that is the oldest type train for Limited Express in JR Hokkaido. But this seasonal train is operated KIHA 183 North Rainbow Express. Those two types of trains are same series, KIHA 183. But both exterior and interior are completely different. Try to compare the images on this page (KIHA 183 North Rainbow) and the post of Limited Express Okhotsk (common KIHA 183 series).
This train is 5 cars formation. Car#1, #2 #4 and #5 have higher passenger’s deck than regular floor. Car#3 is double deck car. It has ordinary seats at upper deck and salon space at lower deck. Usually upper deck on Car#3 is assigned as non reserved seat. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm.
H=Ordinary seat on higher passenger’s deck car D=Ordinary seat on double deck car SL-Salon
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat
*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.