If you are feeling the cold this month then Kintetsu’s “Tsudoi” tourist train may be just the ticket to heat you up! The second carriage of the train has been specially fitted with footbaths to warm the feet of its passengers. Currently running weekend trips between Nagoya and the hot spring resort of Yunoyama Onsen, this “footbath train” offers the perfect start to a luxury spa weekend.
The Tsudoi is a three carriage train and the footbaths are located in the middle carriage. The baths are built of aromatic cypress wood and use fresh water sourced directly from the hot springs in Yunoyama Onsen. These alkaline waters are said to soothe pains in the joints, muscles, and nerves, as well as promoting general good health and relaxation. There is also a bar counter in the middle carriage selling souvenirs and taster sets of three local artisanal sakes for just 1,000 yen.
Yunoyama Onsen is a popular getaway location for tourists from Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka thanks to its easy accessibility on the Kintetsu Railway network. The resort has been a tourist attraction since the 8th century and many outdoor baths here offer stunning views over beautiful scenery and of nearby Mount Gozaisho.
The Tsudoi train was refurbished last year to celebrate the opening of the Yunoyama Onsen hot spring resort 1,300 years ago. As an extra bonus passengers on this train will receive a free commemorative drinks coaster, and a special tourist coupon for the Yunoyama Onsen area. Passengers can use the coupon to get reduced fees at many of the hot spring facilities in Yunoyama Onsen, and also a cheaper entrance to the Paramita Art Museum, and a cheaper fare on the Gozaisho Ropeway that runs cable cars up Mount Gozaisho.
The train runs from Kintetsu Nagoya Station to Yunoyama-Onsen Station in Komono, Mie Prefecture. From Kintetsu Nagoya Station the train follows the Kintetsu Nagoya Line until Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station and then takes the Yunoyama Line to Yunoyama-Onsen Station. Passengers are free to board the train or disembark at Yokkaichi as well as the terminal stations at Nagoya and Yunoyama Onsen.
The Tsudoi train will run on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays until Feburary 24th this year. However, the train will not run on January 26th and 27th. There is just one return service each day. The outbound service departs from Nagoya at 10.06, reaching Yokkaichi at 10.45, and arriving at Yunoyama Onsen at 11.22. The return service leaves Yunoyama Onsen at 16.05, reaches Yokkaichi at 16.38, and arrives at Nagoya at 17.23.
Fares are 500 yen for adults (12 years or older) and 250 yen for children on top of the regular train fare. To use the footbath passengers should buy a 100 yen ticket on the day. Passengers who use the footbath will also receive a souvenir towel. Tsudoi train tickets can be bought one month in advance at major Kintetsu stations or at Kintetsu tourist agencies.
Article Michael Lambe. Photos courtesy of Kintetsu Railway. All rights reserved.