Amazing Scenery & Food: Orange Shokudo
Hisatsu Orange Railway, Inc. began operating Orange Shokudo ("Orange Restaurant") in March 2013 on the western coast of Kyushu. In the past, there were orange groves along the tracks. It's said that this is where the Orange Railway got its name.
If you arrive at JR Sendai Station by Shinkansen, don't leave the station. Instead, head over to the entrance to the Orange Railway on the premises.
However, if you travel to JR Shin-Yatsushiro Station by Shinkansen, go through the ticket gates for the Shinkansen and head over to the platform for the normal JR lines on the first floor. Orange Shokudo uses the JR train tracks between Shin-Yatsushiro and Yatsushiro.
Orange Shokudo has a dark blue body with a logo fit for a restaurant train, featuring a crossed fork and knife and three stars. The expectations are high for its adverted slogan as a “mobile restaurant.” But let’s give it a shot!
There's a cute child’s seat for young children available near the driver’s car. Designs with detailed consideration for the travelers are a feature of Kyushu’s sightseeing trains.
The food served on the train is made by celebrated chefs, featuring seasonal ingredients from the surrounding areas along the railroad line.
There are 23 seats in the first car of the Orange Shokudo train from which you can comfortably enjoy a meal, from main course to dessert, for over three hours. This is the main attraction of this train. Do keep in mind the menu varies by season!
At the end of the meal, you can enjoy desserts featuring locally harvested, seasonal fruits and coffee while looking at the slow-moving Yatsushiro Sea.
The coast of Southwestern Kyushu has a variety of faces. You may see mountains extending to the shoreline, serene rural areas, hillsides covered in orange groves and, suddenly, an expanse of blue ocean in the next moment. You will not be bored!
A bar counter on the train. You can order coffee and cocktails here after lunch or dinner.
The staff not only serve the food, but also guide guests through the scenic highlights along the way. The staff endeavor to ensure each guest can fully experience the charm of the train.
The train operates three roundtrips journeys a day, between Sendai and Shin-Yatsushiro Stations. You can enjoy an upscale lunch or dinner with great service while looking at amazing scenery. In addition to the meal, you'll get a local souvenir. Do note that seating is by reservation only.
Due to popularity, it's recommend that you go through a travel agent to make your reservations before your visit. The train doesn't operate daily, so be sure to check the schedule prior to making reservations.