The Dream Sky Train
The Dream Sky Train
- 2 min read

The Yumezora or Dream Sky Train

A local line train with in-carriage light show

Yet again in Japan I find myself spending train-related leisure time!

The Hoku Hoku line runs from Echigo Yuzawa Station out to the Niigata coastline and the port of Naoetsu. On the way it needs to negotiate some hilly terrain, and long tunnels are the method of choice. You can spend over five minutes with nothing but dark walls whizzing by outside your window. In an effort to make this a bit more interesting for the passengers the Yumezora or Dream Sky train projects short light displays and films on to the ceiling of the carriages during the tunnel time.

The Yumezora runs on weekends and holidays. We boarded in Echigo Yuzawa and the train was almost full with plenty of excited youngsters filling the seats. The scenery outside the window is pretty with fields of famous koshihikari rice and towering green mountains all around. The highlight for the children though is the tunnels. On the way out to the coast there are lots of them and five of these have the light shows. Three of them are around five minutes long with the other two being a couple of minutes shorter. Each one is themed with animations including fireworks, under the sea, space and the zodiac. As you shoot into the tunnels the lights dim, the music comes on and the films start to project on the ceiling. Little heads pop up from seats all around and stare opened-mouthed at the pictures above them. This goes on for a while and then you burst back out into the light and greenery of the inaka.

The Yumezora train is made up of two carriages and both of them have slightly different light shows. The carriage closer to Muikamachi/Yuzawa and further away from the ocean has the better show so sit in that one if you have the choice.

The stations out here tend to be unmanned with new passengers joining from the back door and paying the driver when they exit from the front, much like a bus.

Our kids loved happily staring up at the ceiling during the tunnels and eating their packed lunch at other times. I must be getting old as I was more impressed with the extensive tunnels than the light show!

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Join the discussion

Kim 5 years ago
This is a good one for me to remember if we're catching the train locally with the kids!

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.