A photogenic Train Journey in Takachiho with Amaterasu Railway

The Takachiho Amaterasu Railway is an open-air tourism train that runs from Takachiho Station on the former Takachiho Line to Takachiho Railway Bridge, using the railway tracks of the discontinued Takachiho Railway. Like the rental boats in the Takachiho Gorge, this is a very popular attraction♪

Here, we will be introducing you to the whole photogenic journey, which spans 5.1 kilometers and lasts about 30 minutes.

 

The retro-cute Takachiho Station

The station, which you can see from the main street, has a retro and nostalgic atmosphere. Let’s head there right away!

The start and end point of this journey will be this spot right here, Takachiho Station—a cute, cozy station that has been left unchanged from when it was an actual station.

If you come by car, please use the parking areas located above and beside the station (parking is free).

 

 Explore the station building and premises

Make your way to the small counter inside the station building. Here, you can check the time schedule and buy tickets for the train.

The ticket you buy here serve as your boarding pass for the train. The round trip between Takachiho Station and Takachiho Railway Bridge costs 1,500 yen for adults, 900 yen for children and 500 yen for pre-school children and under.

There is something nostalgic about it all.

Enter the premises, and the railway track that will take you to Takachiho Railway Bridge will be on your left-hand side. This scenery alone is already very pretty, and there are always many people taking photos on the railway tracks.

You are allowed to walk on the tracks.

Let’s use the time before boarding to take lots of pictures!

On the right-hand side is the station platform and past it, the train depot.

Housed in the train depot is the diesel trains that were used when the former Takachiho Railway was still running. If you get a reservation, you can even drive the train for yourself.

If you have time and are a train enthusiast, it is highly recommended!

The sign on the station platform is another popular photo spot.

The station next to Takachiho Station is Ama no Iwato Station. Since the line is now abandoned the station is not in use anymore, but you can see the remains of the station site from the train car when you pass it on the journey (it is also a photo spot!).

 

All aboard!

The train car is an open-air Grand Super Cart. Please board the designated train car indicated by a color mark (green or white) on your ticket♪

When you board the train, the conductor will punch your ticket for you—something that feels… nostalgic? New? Either way, it’s definitely something you won’t be able to experience very often.

Much like a scene from the Showa period(1926-1989).

Time for departure! As the train sets off, the staff at the station will wave their hands, bidding you a pleasant journey. Don’t be shy and wave back!

The train moves at leisurely pace. Listen to the conductor’s commentary as you set off on the 30-minute train journey.

 

Tunnel illumination

Take in the countryside scenery for a while, until the train approaches a tunnel.

When the train enters the tunnel, you will find that the inside is lit up with decorative lights! Enjoy the fantastic lights projected onto the ceiling of the tunnel.

When entering the tunnel, be ready with your camera or smartphone!

 

Enjoy the scenic countryside

Once past the tunnel, you will see the peaceful mountain towns and Takachihos beautiful terraced rice fields. It is also fun to listen to the conductor’s commentary.

It seems that one of the conductors also runs an izakaya (Japanese pub) in Takachiho Town. The commentary during the journey includes information about recommended local food.

There are lots of trees on the grounds of Takachiho Station and alongside the train tracks, that offer seasonal delights: cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh greenery in summer, autumn leaves in the fall, and trees dusted with snow in the winter. This is a activity that can be enjoyed all year-round!

Amano-Iwato Station was a part of the now-discontinued Takachiho Railway. While it is not currently in use, the place still offers a glimpse of the past.

It is remarkable how it has been preserved so carefully and beautifully despite the line’s closure.

 

A spectacular, 360-degree, panoramic view from 105 meters up

And now the main event—Takachiho Railway Bridge! There is a gate on the rails leading up to the bridge and on days with strong wind it might be closed.

Fortunately, the wind isn’t too strong today, so we can proceed onto the bridge. Exciting♬

The train stops right in the middle of Takachiho Railway Bridge. An announcement from the conductor tells you that you can stand up and take photos.

All the passengers stands up and it turns into a photo session!

The open-air car allows for a magnificent, 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding scenery—a spectacular view you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

The Takachiho Railway Bridge is about the same height as the Tsutenkaku in Osaka. Look down in the space between the train cars and you will find that parts of the bridge have a metal grid-like structure, which allows you can see all the way down below the bridge.

Please beware if you are afraid of heights!

The conductor will provide an explanation of the scenery from the bridge, while blowing… soap bubbles? A truly unique and surprising performance.

On a sunny day, the surroundings together with the sparkling soap bubbles, creates a magical atmosphere♪

The sight of the bubbles gleaming in the expansive panoramic view atop the bridge is so wonderful as to leave you speechless. An absolutely incredible photo spot!

 

Enjoy the ride until the very end

After spending about five minutes on the bridge, the train will go back the way it came. It’s interesting how the scenery can look so different even just on the opposite side of the tracks.

The station building also sells souvenirs. We recommend you check these out, as there are Amaterasu Railway goods that are only available here.

There are also novels based on the former Takachiho Railway (recommended).

 

Conclusion

What did you think about this photogenic train journey on the Takachiho Amaterasu Railway?

If you’re visiting Takachiho Town, enjoy the unique experiences and photos you can only get on this very special journey. We encourage you to come back and see how the seasons change the scenery as well.

 

For detailed information about Amaterasu Railway, please visit their official website:

https://amaterasu-railway.jp/

 

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