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There are several sightseeing trains that run along the Japan Sea coast and the Shirakami mountains, known as the "Resort Shirakami" trains. This train is called "Kumagera", and just started running in April 2006. Other Resort Shirakami trains are "Buna" (Beech Tree) and "Aoike" (Blue Pond).

We were excited to ride Kumagera not just because it's new and looks neat, but because it had a cool name. Kumagera. We knew that kuma means "bear", so we figured it meant something like "bear claw" or "bear's roar". Eventually we thought to check our dictionary and were disappointed to learn that it actually means, "woodpecker." (Learning that, though, we had to admit the red and yellow paint scheme does a good job of evoking woodpecker plumage.)

Categories: The Tour, Trains

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