|A TASTE OF NORTHERN HOSPITALITY|
A special winter train has begun to run along Japan's northern Pacific coast where passengers get to sample some local hospitality.
The first train departed from the town of Kuji in Iwate Prefecture on Saturday. Much of Iwate's coastal regions were devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
There were about 40 passengers on board who were able to keep warm by sitting under a "kotatsu" heater. The passengers were served local delicacies, including sea urchin and abalone.
"It's very warm."
"Great views and a great time!"
At one point, some traditional "Namomi" demons appeared bringing with them a little fear and a lot of good luck. The service will continue through March.