A railway operator in northern Japan has launched an annual steam locomotive service in the eastern part of Hokkaido Prefecture.

Hokkaido Railway Company operates the steam locomotive, commonly referred to as the Winter Wetlands line, that makes one roundtrip journey every day between Kushiro and Shibecha Stations.

A departure ceremony was held at Kushiro Station on the season’s opening day on Saturday.

With the sound of a whistle, the 5-car locomotive, carrying 280 passengers, chugged away from Kushiro Station.

Travelers ate dried squid and fish snacks prepared on coal stoves in the train carriages.

After the train entered the marshlands, passengers got to view the snowy landscape, and took photographs of a pair of red-crowned cranes.

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