Saturday, May 7, 2011

DMU JR Kyushu KiHa 72 Series, "Yufuin-no-mori"


DMU JR Kyushu KiHa 72 series, "Yufuin-no-mori" at Yufuin Station

Let's move on to something else today... outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

There are many distinctive-looking trains in Kyushu Island, the western part of Japan. DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) JR Kyushu KiHa 72 series is popular among tourists as well as railfans for its unique design and beauty. This train was launched in 1999 as a third-generation of the express, "Yufuin-no-mori (Forest of Yufuin)", connecting Hakata and Oita stations via Yufuin.

One characteristic of this DMU is its frontal aspect, two-stage windows (photo at the top). The train has a superb view of the volcanic landscape ahead through these two-stage windows in the front car (photo at the bottom). The other characteristic is its gorgeous interior for a standard-class train. For example, there is a wonderful bridge in the car!

I took this train in 2009, when I visited the Yufuin hot springs. Yufuin is famous for its mineral-rich hot springs all around the town. You can find plenty of steams from spring sources. You can also enjoy walking in the green forests surrounding the town. The local people are very friendly and the local food is very tasty. What’s more, I could enjoy a footbath on the platform of Yufuin Station, while I was waiting for the train. I could fully enjoy the hot springs, green forests, local food and chatting with the local people as well as the gorgeous express train.

DMU JR Kyushu KiHa 72 series is a legitimate resort express that provides passengers with space for relaxation and exhilaration.

Cockpit of DMU JR Kyushu KiHa 72 series, "Yufuin-no-mori"
More information about express trains of JR Kyushu:http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/time_table/time_table.html