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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Japan Tours and Life Style

Japanese Railroads that will leave you spellbound

Scenic rail tours have been reintroduced all over the world as an alternative to traditional sightseeing. Japan is no different. Densha otaku roughly translated “train geek,” is a phrase coined in Japanese to characterise persons who are delightfully fascinated with rail travel.

Japanese Railroads that will leave you spellbound
Why not include some stunning sights in your schedule if you’re using your Japan Rail Pass to travel throughout the country? There is no better way to increase the value of your vacation than to make the route, not just the destination, a part of the adventure!

Sitting comfortably while watching a changing scenery pass by is a great absorption in Japan’s natural beauty. Most of the trains on the rides listed below feature extra-large windows so you don’t miss a thing, and some even have open-air carriages.

When visiting Japan, international visitors can acquire a Japan Rail Pass, also known as a JR Pass. The JR Pass allows you to jump on and off most of the public transportation lines run by the Japan Rail Group around the country. The multi-use tickets cover the usage of local JR trains, most Shinkansen trains, JR-operated buses, and even the JR-WEST Miyajima ferry. Some of the scenic train journeys listed below are included in the JR Pass, so check before purchasing your ticket to see if the ride is also covered by the JR Pass.

The following are some of the best train lines for taking in the country’s natural beauty. Many of these routes allow you to utilise your Japan Rail Pass to enjoy the scenery.

Best Scenic Railroads of Japan: Book a journey and enjoy the most serene views

Hisatsu Line in Kyushu

(The Beautiful Oceanic View)

Hisatsu Line in Kyushu
The Hisatsu Line is based in Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu’s southernmost island. The island itself is brimming with attractions and stunning landscapes. The Hisatsu Line is well-known for passing through numerous scenic regions.

The line serves Kaiji Station; the name kaiji means “sea road,” alluding to the coastal views you’ll see on your way to Hitoyoshi City.

If you enjoy beautiful ocean views, this is the train for you. Various attractions may be found on the Kyushu islands, and the Hisatsu line goes through many regions of the Kumamoto Prefecture, providing breathtaking vistas. The Kajji station, often known as the ‘Sea Road’ station, provides another glimpse at the sea views available while journeying to Hityoshi city. The Kumagawa River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in Japan, runs along this line, making it one of the top sightseeing trains.

The Hisatsu Line is a JR Kyushu railway line that connects Yatsushiro Station in Kumamoto Prefecture and Hayato Station in Kagoshima Prefecture, spanning 124.2 kilometres through some of Japan’s most beautiful natural landscape. It crosses the Kuma River, travels through the highlands of Kirishima, and traverses through the lush forests of Kyushu.

Kyushu is a volcanically active island with beautiful natural surroundings as a result. Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island, has a variety of beauty to offer and is a must-see when visiting Japan. Much of the natural beauty can be seen as you rush by the verdant slopes populated with small villages on the Hisatsu Line, which goes directly through the interior between Yatsushiro and Hitoyoshi! On the route, you can also observe a swift river where many water sports enthusiasts go to raft. Between March and November, you can also ride the SL Hitoyoshi, Kyushu’s sole steam-powered train! The holiday sightseeing train runs solely during the summer months, with one round trip every day. Riding the SL Hitoyoshi is immensely popular, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Hanwa Line in Kansai

Japanese Railroads, Hanwa Line in Kansai
(View the most beautiful Cherry Blossoms)

The Hanwa Line connects Osaka City and Wakayama in the Kansai Region’s Osaka Prefecture. The Hanwa Line is good for seeing sakura cherry blossoms in late March. Your train view will be filled with pink or white blossoms, often drifting softly in the breeze along both sides of the railway.

The Hanwa Line, which runs from Osaka City to Wakayama, is a great way to get some extra cherry blossom viewing in the spring. Perhaps you saw the sakura in Kyoto and are on your way to Mount Koya, or you have a Kansai Pass and don’t want to miss a single bit. The end of March is the absolute finest time for sakura viewing on the Hanwa Line.

The Hanwa Line, a commuter rail line run by JR West, is a fantastic way to enjoy the sakura season. It runs 63.1 kilometres from Tennoji Station in Osaka to Wakayama Station in Wakayama. Passengers get the best views of the many cherry trees in full bloom in the valleys and mountains of this portion of the Kansai region as they travel.

Gono Line in North Honshu

Gono Line in North Honshu
(View Inland Snowscapes and Winter Seas)

The Gono Line connects Aomori Prefecture’s Kawabe Station to Akita Prefecture’s Higashi Noshiro Station. It is well-known as a local line that people would like to ride, with a total length of 147.2km and 43 stations. “Hirosaki Station” is the closest station to Hirosaki Castle, which is noted for its cherry blossoms in the spring. “Fukaura Station” is well-known for its sunset views. It also stops at “Wespa Tsubakiyama,” which is on the shore and serves as a starting point for exploring the hot springs known as “Furofushi Onsen,” which overlooks the Sea of Japan.

The rail route frequently passes beside the Sea of Japan, putting you between the inland snowscape and northern Japan’s “raging winter seas,” complete with mystical natural rock formations.

The Gono Line’s views have been regarded as “some of the best seaside scenery of any railway in the world.” You’ll also get to see Mount Iwaki, which is stunning.

The Gono Line is served by a variety of trains. If you want to have a very luxurious vacation, visit the Resort Shirakami.

This luxury train is frequently booked months in advance; however, don’t worry, the local trains have the same breathtaking views. During the summer, additional special trains operate. Live musical performances are available on some trains.

Sagano Scenic Railway in Kyoto

Japanese Railroads, Sagano Scenic Railway in Kyoto
(View the most beautiful Fall Foliage)

Western Kyoto has long been renowned for its natural splendour. The Arashiyama neighbourhood has been a tourist attraction for almost 1,000 years. This region’s beauty peaks twice a year, first during the cherry blossom season and then again during the fall colour season.

The Sagano Scenic Railway is an excellent method to visit and appreciate the natural beauty of this rural area. The train has been dubbed the Sagano Torokko, or Gorgeous Train since its route takes passengers sightseeing through such romantic countryside. If you’ve had your fill of the city, one of these days trips from Kyoto can put a smile on your face.

The Sagano Scenic Railway in Kyoto connects Arashiyama and Kameoka. The trail follows the Hozugawa River and its adjacent ravine. The track is only seven kilometres long, but the train moves at a deliberate, unhurried speed. The trip takes about 25 minutes one way.

A trip on the Sagano Scenic Railway is wonderful at any time of year, but it is especially popular in the autumn for Koyo, who come to see the magnificent fall foliage.

Kurobe Gorge Railway in Japan Alps

Kurobe Gorge Railway in Japan Alps
(Witness the Magnificent and Majestic Mountains)

The Kurobe Gorge is a lovely forested valley in the rocky Northern Japan Alps. It is one of Japan’s deepest canyons, formed by the Kurobe River. Its sheer, practically vertical cliffs, pristine virgin woods, and outdoor hot springs have made it a popular natural scenic beauty destination. The Kurobe Gorge Railway, a sightseeing train created to aid in the construction of the Kurobe Dam, is the gorge’s principal attraction. Today, the miniature trains run along a 20-kilometre route between the stations of Unazuki and Keyakidaira. The thrilling 80-minute journey crosses more than 20 bridges and passes through more than 40 tunnels, providing guests with panoramic vistas of the gorge below. The trains stop at a few stops along the route where passengers can disembark and explore.

The trains run yearly from mid-April to November and are especially popular in autumn when the forested slopes along the railroad turn bright orange and scarlet with spectacular fall colours. Because the mountains encompass a wide height range, the Kurobe Gorge has a long fall colour season that lasts from mid-October to mid-November.

The trains transport a range of vehicles. The bulk of them are open-sided cars with four-person bench seats; however, most trains provide one or two types of enclosed cars with more comfortable seating for a price. When you buy a ticket, you’ll be given a vehicle number, however, the seats within the car aren’t. Sit on the right side of the train as it enters the gorge for the best views.

Takayama Main Line

Japanese Railroads
(See Japan’s most beautiful Mountains)

This route connects Gifu City to Toyama City across scenic scenery and two prefectures. Your views will feature magnificent mountains crisscrossed by rivers. Mount Hotaka and Mount Yarigadake, two of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains, may be seen in the distance, each standing almost 10,500 feet (over 3,100 meters).

In the winter, the mountains take on a different appearance due to the lack of snowdrifts. The voyage will also take you via Takayama, the town after which the line is named.

Beautiful scenery may be seen from the train’s window on the trip. Take the ‘Wide View Hida’ train that runs along the line; it has extra-large windows that make gazing out into the lovely countryside even more appealing. The Wide View Hida departs from Nagoya Station and travels along the Tokaido Main Line to Gifu Station, where it transfers to the picturesque Takayama Main Line that connects Gifu and Toyama. Passengers will be treated to breathtaking views from here, beginning with the Kiso River, commonly known as the Rhine of Japan, and the surrounding valley. The emerald-green Hida River follows, just past Mino-Ota Station. The railway then goes through the Nakayama Shichiri Valley, passing via Gero onsen, one of Japan’s best hot spring villages, before arriving in Takayama, often known as the “Little Kyoto of Hida.” The Wide View Hida continues on alongside the Miya and Jinzu rivers before reaching at Toyama Station.


These were some of the most scenic train journeys in Japan, although there are many more for train fans. There is so much to discover in Japan that many people find that a single visit to the country of the rising sun is insufficient.

Japan is a train enthusiast’s dream, boasting one of the world’s most complicated and efficient railway networks. Trains can take you to almost any location in the country. The variety in design enhances the experience – from old-fashioned local trains to sophisticated high-speed rails, there are numerous options for getting about. We frequently plan excursions to locations, but with this collection of scenic railroads, the entire journey becomes more attractive than the destinations, making it one of the most beautiful journeys in your holiday. You will not be dissatisfied with the train services you choose for your Japan Rail journey. Seeing Japan by rail is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture.

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