Photo/Illutration A new French-style lunch served aboard the Nagara sightseeing train (Yoshinobu Matsunaga)

SEKI, Gifu Prefecture--Nagaragawa Railway Co. will offer a lunch set that has been renewed for the first time in two years for a mouthwatering excursion on the Nagara sightseeing train.

Made with locally harvested ingredients, the new French-style meal will be served starting from April 1.

The company, based here, will also reduce the capacity from 25 to 15 so that passengers can wine and dine while they enjoy the view from their seats in a more relaxed manner.

"We intend to enrich the service quality to offer better value for money," said Katsuhiko Hayashi, subsection chief of the transport division at Nagaragawa Railway. "We want to help passengers make great memories from the trip."

The new lunch course will be served on the Nagara leaving Mino-Ota Station at 10:45 a.m. and arriving at Gujo-Hachiman Station at 12:16 p.m. Passengers will also receive a two-day ticket for unlimited rides.

The operator selected Miyako Hotel Gifu Nagaragawa in Gifu to collaborate with on the project.

Masanori Nagao, 46, chief chef in the Western cuisine division at the hotel, came up with a 14-course French meal flavored in Japanese style.

Mainly made with Hida beef, "jidori" (free-range chicken) from the Okumino region and other local ingredients, the courses are just as good hot or cold.

Through their collaboration, the railway company and the hotel operator aim to rejuvenate the tourism industry hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The number of passengers who boarded the Nagara in 2019 was about 1,700, but the figure dropped sharply to about 800 in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The number rebounded to around 1,300 in 2022. The lunch excursion costs 18,000 yen ($135), including tax.

For inquiries, visit the official website at (