Japanese Winter Luxury at its Finest: The Kotatsu Train

The Sanriku Kaigan is a beautiful coastline extending along the Pacific Ocean in Japan, but for some it’s a northerly region to avoid during the cold winter. However, many people take advantage of the Kotatsu train because Sanriku Railway provides a toasty way to make the trip. Kotatsu are low wooden tables covered by a heavy blanket with a heat source built underneath. The carriage is fitted with Kotatsu so travelers can enjoy the coastal view from the window while feeling warm and snug. Interestingly, Kotatsu are unique to Japan, and anyone who has spent a winter in Japan knows how comfortable they are. The train itself is quite small, with only two carriages that contain a layout of 12 Kotatsu tables, each with four seats. While it might sound strange to Westerners, it’s really no different than an American family sitting in front of the fireplace in the winter. The Kotatsu train runs from mid-December until the end of March.