Still quite a few steam engines were operational in Hokkaido in March 1974.
C57, C55 Pacific (4-6-2), C58 Prairie (2-6-2), 9600 Consolidation (2-8-0), D51 Mikado (2-8-2) and D61 Berkshire (2-8-4) were all in action at that time.
For a high-school student like myself, to visit Hokkaido (from Osaka) was slightly challenging at that time.
I remember I took the express “Kitaguni (Northern Country)” from Osaka to Aomori by spending almost 20 hours onboard and then took a ferry to cross the channel to Hokkaido (which took another about 5 hours). To save the money, I stayed at stations (mostly at the “Asahikawa” station as far as I remember) and spent only few nights at Youth Hostels.
The pictures were taken with Canon FT with Kodak TRI-X films that were, of course, very expensive for me at that time !
March 1974 visit to Hokkaido became one of my most memorable event in my life.