5 Local Train Lines in Kyushu for Traveling While Enjoying the View
Kyushu is a region that is filled with many charming and stunning areas such as the famous tourist city of Fukuoka. Below are five local train lines that are recommended for traveling through Kyushu while marveling at the gorgeous scenery.
1. Hohi Main Line
JR Hohi Line is a train line that traverses central Kyushu by passing through the caldera of an active volcano, Mt. Aso. It runs the approximately 148 km stretch from Kumamoto to Oita, stopping at 37 stations in between. From the train windows, you will get to see the majestic Aso caldera, along with the clear river streams, tranquil country towns, and other natural landscapes.
2. Omura Line
JR Omura Line is a train line that runs along the coastline of scenic Omura Bay in Nagasaki that is known for its calm waves. From the train windows, you can see a beautiful ocean view, as well as orange fields and other soothing natural scenery. Connecting Haiki Station and Isahaya Station in Nagasaki, this line highlights the major tourist spots that best represent Nagasaki. If you decide to ride in this line, it would be best to avail of the Burari Omurasen Kippu (Burari Omura Line Ticket) with unlimited train rides that will let you get on and off as many stations as you want in two days.
Price of Burari Omurasen Kippu: 3,090 JPY for adults and 1,540 JPY for children (elementary school and younger)
Validity: Two days from start of use
Where to purchase: Nagasaki Station, Sasebo Station, etc.
3. Kumagawa Tetsudo
Kumagawa Tetsudo (Kumagawa Rail Road) is a local railway line that goes around the Kuma and Hitoyoshi areas, located in the southern part of Kumamoto. It links 14 stations over a 24.8km distance from Hitoyoshi Onsen to Yunomae. From the train windows, you will see the vast countryside and the gorgeous Kuma River, among other beautiful spots. If you take this line, you should ride on the Denen Symphony sightseeing train (reserved seating only, advanced reservation required) that only runs on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Aside from being able to enjoy calming scenery along the course, you will also be treated to various services such as boxed lunch, sampling/sale of local delicacies inside the train, and a commemorative photo of your trip.
Sample Denen Symphony price: 2,500 JPY one-way for adults
How to reserve: Inquire with travel agency, etc.
※Photo shows scenery as seen from inside the Denen Symphony
4. Karatsu Line
JR Karatsu Line connects 13 stations over a 42.5km distance between Kubota and Nishi-Karatsu. It is used by a lot of locals to get to work or school, among other places. It was built in 1898 for hauling coal, but there are no more freight trains running there today and only ordinary trains with no conductor are left. If you ride this train, you will get to see magnificent rivers, mountain ranges and other sites from the train windows. You also will pass many old and unmanned station buildings, with a relaxing wind blowing against your face. This line also boasts such attractions as Ogi Station, a registered tangible cultural property of Japan, that give it that retro vibe.
5. Tagawa Line-Ita Line of Heisei Chikuho Railway
The Tagawa Line and Ita Line of Heisei Chikuho Railway that go through Fukuoka link 30 stations over a 42.2km stretch that covers the areas between Yukuhashi and Nogata. Launched in 1989, these lines succeeded the line that was originally constructed for coal transport. Along the railway line, you will see many interesting spots, including the Chikuho Coal Mines that flourished as Japan’s largest coal mine, and famous spots with traces of their being coalmine towns in the past. The bodies of the trains in this line are also popular for their colorful designs as they bear drawings of the railway’s official mascot Chikumaru.
Enjoy traveling through Kyushu on a local line that will let you forget about the day’s fatigue as you leisurely move from one station to another. It is guaranteed to heal your body and soul.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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