JOYFUL TRAINS

SL Banetsu Monogatari

Service interval: Shinetsu Main Line, Ban-etsu-West Line

  • SL Banetsu Monogatari
  • SL Banetsu Monogatari

Built in 1946, the SL Banetsu Monogatari has long been loved by passengers, earning the nickname of "Kifujin" (Noble Lady) for its graceful appearance with the large driving wheels and narrow boiler. The number 180 was retired to a quiet life at Niitsu Station, an important railway location, but was then pulled out of retirement in 1999 due to popular demand. It was revived as the SL Banetsu Monogatari, running seasonally on the Ban-etsu-West Line. The 12 series rolling stock was modified for the passenger cars. Wood patterns and soft colors create an old-style atmosphere evocative of the beloved Taisho era (1912–1926).

Go inside with Google Street View

Go inside with Google Street View

Car interior

In April 2014, car number one was remodeled into two parts, the "Okojo Room" as a playroom for children and the "Okojo Observation Room" for adults to enjoy. Come and enjoy the Okojo Observation Car with the whole family. The train staff organizes games and other fun events, including rock-paper-scissors contests.

Okojo Room

Carrying the nostalgic feel of the Taisho period, the SL Banetsu Monogatari has the grace of the C57-180 (Kifujin) model, and in 2013, a Green Car was brought on board to bring a new level of comfort and pleasure to travelers. Enjoy the scenery outbound and the power of the SL on the way home.

the C57-180 (Kifujin) model

The front end of the Green Car has a sense of spaciousness with a panoramic observation room. Just in front of the observation room on the return journey is the powerful SL locomotive.

the front end of the Green Car

Seating 30 people, the Green Car has reclining seats that rotate. The layout of each row is three seats, with one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other, and each row is comfortably separated from the others on par with the standard Green Car arrangement.

reclining seats

Car layout

  • Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Niigata
  • Car no.1 Okojo Observation Car Car no.2 Ordinary car, Reserved seating
  • Car no.3 Ordinary car, Reserved seating no.4 Observation Car
  • Car no.5 Kiosk, Ordinary car, Reserved seating no.6 Ordinary car, Reserved seating
  • Car no.7 Green Car
  • Car no.1 Okojo Observation Car Car no.2 Ordinary car, Reserved seating
  • Car no.3 Ordinary car, Reserved seating no.4 Observation Car
  • Car no.5 Kiosk, Ordinary car, Reserved seating no.6 Ordinary car, Reserved seating
  • Car no.7 Green Car

Regular stops

Regular stops

Operating schedule

How to purchase

Tickets for the SL Banetsu Monogatari are not available for sale outside of Japan. There are multiple ways to purchase tickets as follows.

Passes:
Purchase a pass that is for foreign visitors to Japan and covers the travel area. Recommended passes when visiting Japan
Tickets:
Available for sale at JR EAST Travel Service Centers and your local JR Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi).

Note: Not all services are available on certain trains when boarding with a pass or a ticket.