Limited Express Okhotsk and Taisetsu take you to Abashiri from Sapporo and Asahikawa. Abashiri is well known as drift ice viewing in winter time. And also when you go to the world heritage site, Shiretoko, you may use this train to Abashiri and transfer to the local train to Shiretoko-Shari. If you need the information about the access to Shiretoko, please see one of my posts, “How to get Shiretoko“.
You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. I would like to show you the information about these trains.
Route and timetable
We have 4 round trips a day to Abashiri. 2 of 4 round trips are operated by the limited express Okhotsk between Sapporo and Abashiri. Another two round trips are operated by the limited express Taisetsu which runs between Asahikawa and Abashiri. It takes 5 hours 30 minutes to get Abashiri from Sapporo and 3 hours 45 minutes from Asahikawa.
You can find the timetable in the link below:
JPRail.com PDF timetable (valid until mid March, 2020)
I traveled from Asahikawa to Abashiri by the limited express Okhotsk. You can find how nice Green seat is and the scenery from this train in the movie below:
Limited Express Okhotsk and Taisetsu are operated by KIHA-183 series. 183 series is the oldest diesel fleet for the limited express train of JR Hokkaido. But it is okay. The 2+1 seat configuration in Green class offers very spacious seat. The 2+2 in Ordinary class is not much different from the other fleets. This train has only 21 seats in Green class. So if you want to get it, try to book as soon as possible.
*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.
*R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat G=Green seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.