The Special-Meal Train on the Run Again!
February,2016 Semboku City~Kita-akita City
(wrote・photo:Seisetukan Fujimi Kadowaki) 
(translated by Kozue Sasaki) 

Since 2007, Akita Nairiku Jukan Tetsudo (Akita Inland Longitudinal Railway) has been operating a campaign called “Gotso Tamatebako Ressha,” which runs in autumn and winter every year. “Gotso” means “special meal” in Akita dialect. (“Tamatebako” roughly translate to “treasure box.”)




 角館駅からスタート Connecting Kakunodate Station in Semboku City and Aniai Station in Kita-Akita City in about 90 minutes, the cabin turns into a restaurant on the run. At each stop in Kakunodate, Saimyoji, Yatsu, Ugo-Nagatoro, Matsuba, and Kami-Hinokinai, a special dish is delivered to your table and completes a gorgeous meal. 
Here’s a meal served on February 6. On this day, I (Fujimi Kadowaki) also went on board as a staff. The weather was unusually sunny and warm for winter, but the snowy view from the window was such a delight. This view is also part of the special meal.(The picture above is one example of the menu in fall.We're sorry, but some dishes we're introducing are different from the picture.)
【Kakunodate Station】
At the first stop in Kakunodate, dried persimmon made by Keiko-san was served. Ms. Keiko Fujii makes a whole bunch of dried persimmon every year. They are soft and chewy, inside is juicy as it melts in your mouth. 
  【Saimyouji Station】
Next at Saimyoji Station, Ms. Keiko Takahashi’s pickled vegetables are served: Pickled eggplant, Takana (similar to mustard leaf), daikon radish, and carrot, are colorfully arranged in a compact case. 
【Yatsu Station】
At Yazu Station, Ms. Setsuko Sawayama’s Soba (buckwheat noodle) and Ms. Hiroko Sasaki’s roasted chestnut were served. From farm to kitchen, the buckwheat noodle is made entirely by the Sawayama family. The chestnut is cultivated by the Sasaki’s. The area near Yazu Station is well known for big chestnut and katakuri (dogtooth violet) flowers. During the last half of April, the flower is in full bloom and spreads as if it is a violet carpet.
  【Ugo-Nagatoro Station】
At Ugo-Nagatoro Station, Ms. Shoko Kadowaki’s rice mixed with finely diced Takana and carrots were served.
【Matsuba Station】
At Matsuba Station, Ms. Shoko Nakajima’s okazu (side dish) was served. The passengers enjoyed the simple but comforting taste.  
  【Kami-Hinokinai Station】
At Kami-Hinokinai Station, I served some sweets. On this day, it was milk-kanten (agar) and oyaki (a type of rice cake). The kanten contained kiwi and served with a little bit of strawberry jam. 




While you are distracted, the train ran through a long tunnel between Semboku City and Kita-Akita City. This train is not only unique for the enjoyable meal and breathless view but also friendly conversation with the staff.

Next post will be February 27th. This campaign will resume in autumn, so please look forward to the updates on Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway.