My trip to take sightseeing train “Yufuin no Mori” No.2 from Yufuin to Hakata
Do you know sightseeing train?
In Japan, not only the regular train but there is a sightseeing train.
Some sightseeing train is decorated with a modern design.
Or some train runs with tatami floor or a steam locomotive.
The cost varies from a few dollars and a few hundred or thousand dollars.
This time I decided to take “Yufuin no Mori”.
This is run between Hakata (in Fukuoka pref.) and Yufuin (in Oita pref.).
The route to go from Hakata to Yufuin might be popular, but to avoid crowds, I took the other way around.
My train runs from Yufuin to Hakata, and the train number is 2.
To take Yufuin no Mori, you need regular ticket as well as express ticket.
You can actually purchase the ticket online.
They also have English site, so I have written an article how to buy ticket for Yufuin no Mori at English site.
This route had been partially closed due to heavy rain occurred in July 2020, but on March 1st, 2021, JR Kyushu had completely recovered the route so that the entire railway is back.
Here below is the big poster to celebrate the entire recovery of the route.
Departure time is at 12:08
This is the Yufuin station where I will take Yufuin no Mori No.2.
If you have purchased the ticket online, you need to issue the ticket before your departure.
At Yufuin station, there is the ticket office called “Midori no madoguchi”.
It means “Green counter”.
The sign of ticket office is colored in green, so you can identify the ticket office even if you cannot read Japanese.
So, get to the station early and issue your ticket.
Don’t forget your identification number and bring the credit card you purchased the ticket with you.
There is also a foot bath at platform.
If you are interested, you can try it for 200 yen.
It is located at your right corner after you pass the ticket gate.
This is the Yufuin station board at platform.
Yufuin no Mori is managed twice a day, every day.
If you are traveling between Hakata and Yufuin, there are 6 trains.
From Hakata station to Yufuin station: Yufuin no Mori No.1, 3 & 5.
From Yufuin station to hakata station: Yufuin no Mori No.2, 4 & 6.
If you need to travel between Hakata and Oita or Beppu, there is 1 round trip train.
From Hakata station to Oita and Beppu station: Yufuin no Mori No.3.
From Beppu station to Hakata station: Yufuin no Mori No.4.
My train, Yufuin no Mori No.2 was departing from Yufuin station.
5 to 10 minutes before our departure, the train had reached to the Yufuin station.
“Mori” means forest in Japanese.
So the train is colored in green.
So many people were gathering and were taking pictures of Yufuin no Mori.
If you take Yufuin no Mori No.2, the sightseeing points appear for the first 30 minutes from the departure, so you should find your seat early and pick up your bento box if you have ordered.
Then get ready for the perfect time to take a picture of sightseeing spots.
Sightseeing point 1: Bungomori station
Less than 30 minutes from the departure, we will arrive at Bungomori station.
Besides Bungomori station, there is a steam locomotive train and the turntable for the train.
This place was built more than 70 years ago.
Great historical heritage.
We will not stop at the station, so try to take the best shot of the steam locomotive ( we call it SL ).
Sightseeing point 2: Kirikabu san
Soon after you have passed Bungomori station, you will see Kirikabu san or Kirikabu yama to your left hand side.
This mountain is flat at the top, but nothing has been done.
It is all natural according to the chief conductor.
Since there is a wide flat area at the summit, many people will enjoy picnic or hang gliding on weekend.
You can also enjoy your tea time with 360 degree panorama view at case on the summit, Kirikabu House.
Sightseeing point 3: Jion fall
After passing Kirikabu san, 2 floor fall, Jion fall, will appear.
They will let you know that Jion fall is coming by using in-car announce.
They slow down a little bit so it might be easier for you to take a picture.
Watch out for your left hand side.
This is my best shot of Jion fall.
This 2 story fall is consisted of 20-meter upper part and 10-meter lower part.
You can also go behind the waterfall.
If you walk it around clockwise, it is said that you will be lucky.
Reserve your bento box in advance
Not only the landscape, but also eating bento box is one of the excitement of taking a sightseeing train.
They have many kinds of bento box, and it costs you from 720 yen to 3240 yen.
If you want to check the latest information of Yufuin no Mori, you can check JR Kyushu official site.
JR Kyushu official site for Yufuin no Mori: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/trains/yufuinnomori/
You can pick up your bento box at careteria located at Car 3.
You can pick up your bento box soon after you get into the train.
Cafeteria may be crowded soon, so pick it up soon.
You can pay by cash or paypay (Japanese electric money).
I think you cannot pay by credit card, so bring extra cash with you.
I ordered “Orizuru” bento box.
This is the 2-floor bento box, and they are very nice to attach a menu.
Bento box looked a small, but there are a variety of side dish inside of the bento box.
Every single food was so delicious.
Which seat of Yufuin no Mori No.2 is the best seat?
Many sightseeing points are located at your left hand side if you are heading to Hakata.
So, I recommend you take a seat C or D.
There are 5 cars, and the front car is 5.
The best seat of Yufuin no Mori No.2 ( and No.4, No.6) is:
- Car 5 Seat C,D（The most front seat）
The most front seat has a panorama view, so you can enjoy a dynamic scenery.
The best seat means that everyone wants to reserve this seat.
So, it might be challenging to get this seat.
If you get one, you are so lucky.
The other side, seat A and B, is also recommended.
If you are traveling with 3 to 4 people,
- Car 3, box seat
may be good.
You can face to each other and there is a table in the middle.
There is also a partition, so you feel more cozy and private.
And little-know best seat is:
- Car 1, seat C and D (the backmost seat)
This is the last seat of the last Car, but you can turn your seat.
So you can enjoy panorama view from the backside.
This seat is less popular, so if you could not get the first seat in Car 5, you might want to try to get this seat.
The best thing about taking this seat is that it is very close to a conductor’s room, so you can enjoy conversation with the conductor.
Here is the seat location.
If you are interested, you can check in advance.
Inside of the train
Each car has a different taste and atmosphere.
You can choose the car you like.
Car 1 of Yufuin no Mori 2.
This is the last car that I took the backmost seat.
The left side is toward Yufuin and the right side is toward Hakata.
This is the inside of Car 1.
As you can see, it is less crowded.
Then you can see the panorama view of the backside.
This is the hall.
You need to climb some steps, but if you let JR Kyushu in advance, you can get on the train with wheelchar.
Car 2 of Yufuin no Mori
This is the inside of Car 2.
Here is also less crowded.
Car 3 of Yufuin no Mori
Car 3 has cafeteria and a box seat.
If you carry a big luggage, you can also store it the shelf.
You can buy icecream at cafeteria.
I picked up my bento box here.
Inside of Car 3 is like this.
There is a shelf in front.
At back, there is a box seat.
Toward the front side of Car 3, there is a deck with a standing table.
You can also put some luggage here.
A passenger with a wheelchair can also enjoy the view from the deck.
But the train sways more than you think, so grab the rod.
Car 4 of Yufuin no Mori
Car 4 has a different atmosphere than other cars.
You feel like you are in the forest.
Car 5 of Yufuin no Mori
The right side of the above image is the direction, toward Hakata.
This is the inside of Car 5.
As you can see, there is a big window in front of Car 5.
So many seats are taken.
After I took Yufuin no Mori 2
It was only 2-hour trip from Yufuin to Hakata with Yufuin no Mori.
The time had passed like a light.
I really enjoy the landscape and the bento box.
If the season is good, you can also see the Rape field.
There is a wifi service inside of the train, so you can use internet inside of the train.
Here are the gifts I bought and it was delicious.
Yuzu taste Radish pickles
I bought it at a department store called Tokiwa nearby Beppu station.
Fresh Mentai (spicy tuna egg)
I bought this at Hakata station.
It is fresh and was just made.
It was very tasty.