Ravine In An Old-School Sagano Romantic Train Arashiyama For Scenic Beauty In Kyoto 日本嵯峨野观光鉄道: 乘坐旧式列车欣赏京都水路的风光
The world is full of wonderful places to visit. And many of these places are found in the Land of the Rising Sun. That is why Japan is always packed with visitors from all over the world. One of the most traveled places in Japan is Kyoto. That is because nature has found a way to mix with the historical beauty of temples, shrines and towns in the city. The richly preserved Japanese traditions, its architecture and natural sceneries make a well rounded ambiance for relaxation. But do you know that aside from the temples and museums, there are many must-do activities in Kyoto that allows you to become closer to nature?
The narrow-gauge steam train Sagano Scenic Railway (嵯峨野观光鉄道), also known as the Sagano Romantic Train or Sagano Torokko, is one of Japan’s most scenic journeys, and can be combined with an exciting boat trip back on the Hozu River to make a wonderful day trip from Kyoto. The scenery is beautiful all year-round, with cherry blossom in spring, maple leaves in autumn and bamboo groves. It is possible to savor the twin delights of rail and boat travel, on a relaxing round trip, where the source of pleasure lies in the journey itself. Allow yourself to unwind amid the beautiful mountain scenery, enjoy the sakura cherry flowers in spring and crimson foliage in autumn cascading down the hillsides and let the fresh air invigorate your senses.
Originally part of the JR Sanin Line before it was replaced by a faster, straighter route in 1989, the scenic railway route was preserved and outfitted with nostalgic trains featuring wooden benches.
The vivid colored diesel locomotive is a very impressionable design. The station and train have a retro vibe and it makes you feel as if you have time traveled back to the Showa period. The interior has wooden seats.
The 5th car is a special “open” car. The glass windows are removed to give it its openness. Can you tell there are no windows? For those of you who love taking photos, I recommend you to try the open car and photograph the surrounding scenery from the train. Because there is no glare of the glass windows, the images turn out beautifully.
The train makes short stops at scenic spots too. This is when you feel the heart of Japanese “omotenashi” or hospitality. It’s such a breathtaking thrill going into the tunnels!
As with most tourist spots in Japan, they had their own commemorative stamp.
Each section of the river has its own character, alternating between fast flowing rapids and slower stretches of calm. The slow pace of the journey allowed me to see nature close up. I just sat back, took in the tranquility and gorged on the wonderful autumn colors. Along the route, I noticed several rocks signposted, many of which were said to resemble animals (spotting the resemblance may prove tricky).
I’m not sure why, but the river seemed to change colors as I went from this deep emerald green color to a baby blue color and the river is surrounded on both sides by steep walls of lush green foliage.
The view from the train changes with the season and it’s very popular with the autumn color season.
The charming, old fashioned train winds its way through the mountains at a relatively slow pace.
The cool air, the cool wind blowing against my face as the train moves slowly with such a beautiful like-a-photo scenery, is just too blissful!
The train will stop at some parts where the scenery is most beautiful for the travellers to take photographs. I must admit that the photos do not do justice and you gotta experience it yourself!
Kyoto is home to majestic shrines and temples, but one can try taking a break from strolling and enjoy a little adventure through Kyoto’s forest. Take the Romantic train ride and go back to Kyoto in an adventure filled Hozugawa River Cruise for a different way to experience nature in Kyoto!
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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