A Nostalgic Railway Journey Along a Crystal Clear Stream (Nishikikawa-Seiryu-line), Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture


The local Nishikikawa Seiryu line (Nishiki river clear stream line) runs parallel to the Nishiki River that flows from south to north in Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture.



The journey takes you upstream for around 70 minutes from Kintai Bridge. The train stops at a total of 14 stations, every one with its own color – It’s really charming.



If you feel like it, you can get off the train midway and take a walk.




This is Momijidani park (around an 18-minute walk from Kawanishi station). It’s a place you’ll definitely want to visit in autumn!



The view from the train window is somehow nostalgic – the mountains, the river, the sky, and the small houses standing along the river.
It’s not that there’s a particularly amazing view waiting just around the bend…

The calm landscape just continues on… It feels like this scenery might just help you remember something you’ve forgotten…



Although it’s a single-track railway, there are 10 trains daily, both upstream and downstream.
There are train cars in 4 different colors: pink, green, yellow and blue.
Each one of the cars has its own name: Hidamari-go (hidamari = sunny spot), Komorebi-go (komorebi = sunlight filtering through leaves), Kirameki-go (kirameki = glimmer) and Seseragi-go (seseragi = small stream).



Today I got on the pink-colored, Hidamari-go. Cherry blossom petals dancing in the wind are painted on the car’s sides.

The designs of the train cars have all of the Nishiki River’s charms packed into them – the cherry blossoms of the spring, the sunlight filtering through the tree leaves of the forest, the fireflies at the beginning of summer, and the unchanging clear watered Nishiki river that’s always there.

This time our visit was in the season of autumn foliage, but the area will show you a different face with ever season.



We finish with a long tunnel, and arrive at the last station, Nishikicho.
From here on the “Toko Toko Train” will take you further on to the inner part of Nishiki River. At the last stop, there is apparently an unexplored hot spring that flows 100% freely from its source.



We will continue this trip in the spring, at the time of the cherry blossoms.

Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi
Nishikikawa Seiryu Line
A single-track railway connecting JR Iwakuni station and Nishikicho station (10 round trips per day) that runs parallel to the Nishiki River.

Time necessary : Around 70 min

Fare : JPY1150

Timetable (downstream) : Leaves from Iwakuni station

URL : http://nishikigawa.com/index.php

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto



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Written by

Masafumi Fujimoto

Masafumi Fujimoto

Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.


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