With its picturesque train routes, Japan offers expansive views of the country's diverse landscapes. The local railways offer some of the most stunning views for the slow traveller. From rolling countryside to coastal vistas, here are a few train routes that capture the essence of Japan's natural beauty.
Hisatsu Line in Kyushu
The Hisatsu Line in the Kumamoto Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu offers stunning views as the line takes you through captivating landscapes, showcasing the best the region offers. The train passes through numerous areas carefully selected to provide passengers with the most captivating vistas along the way, such as lush green valleys and majestic mountains. The train skirts through quaint towns and villages, offering glimpses of traditional architecture and local life. The Hisatsu Line allows you to witness the authentic beauty of the region, transporting you to a world of tranquillity and serenity.
Gono Line in North Honshu
The Gono Line, which takes you to the northernmost reaches of the island of Honshu, is suitable for winter travel. The line starts from Akita Prefecture and goes to Aomori Prefecture, running alongside the Sea of Japan. When you take this line in winter, you are sandwiched between the wild winter seas and the snowscape inland. Witness the spectacular views of Mount Iwaki and breathtaking coastal scenery when travelling on the Gono Line. For an uber-luxurious experience, book the Resort Shirakami.
Sagano Scenic Railway in Kyoto
Plying the Arashiyama to Kameoka route, the Sagano Scenic Railway near Kyoto is especially popular during autumn to witness the brilliantly colourful fall foliage. Also known as the "Romantic Train," this picturesque route winds its way through the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove near Kyoto. The train offers stunning views of bamboo forests, serene riverbanks, and scenic mountainside landscapes.
Kurobe Gorge Railway in the Japan Alps
This train journey takes you through the stunning Kurobe Gorge in the Northern Alps region. This line is known for its open-air cars, which let you take in your surroundings even more immersively. Breathe in the clean mountain air as the train meanders along the ravine, surrounding you with towering cliffs, dense forests, and the picturesque Kurobe River. The natural onsens (hot springs) are one of the delightful wonders that fall on the route for those who want to indulge in a hot bath enveloped by the mountains.
Oigawa Main Line
The Oigawa Railway is one of the few remaining old-fashioned, Western-style steam locomotives. Running through Shizuoka Prefecture, this nostalgic steam train ride offers magnificent views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding countryside. Passengers can enjoy the charm of a bygone era as the vintage train chugs through tea plantations and idyllic rural scenery.
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