Railway systems in Japan have earned good international reputations. People from all over the world are always very impressed and amazed at their bullet trains and the fact that their trains always arrive on time.
But in this blog post, I'll introduce the old and nostalgic tram which you might have not imagined them still running in Japan. Here is a tram called Hankai Tramway (坂堺电车) which runs from Osaka city (大阪市) to Sakai city (堺市).
There is something very nostalgic about riding the trams of Osaka. Transporting you with their classic storybook ‘gatan goton’ rhythms, they can take you to places that allow for a glimpse of quaint, older neighborhoods and a slower way of life in this city. Nicknamed chinchin densha (ding ding train), the Hankai trams have been a part of Osaka for over 100 years. Hankai Tramway was opened in 1900. There used to have trams all over in Japan. However there are only 20 of them left now. There is a tram made in 1928 which still run on this line. Do you want to take a ride on the oldest trams in Japan? I did.
Osaka city had closed their tram lines many years ago. The Hankai railway however maintains two tram lines. Both enter Osaka. One line terminates at busy Tennoji Station, the other at Ebisucho Station.
Hankai Tram Line passing through old towns in Osaka gives you to get close to local lives in Osaka. It runs slowly and even have traffic lights which make the tram stop for a while. You will get to see the way of living in Osaka as you experience the oldest tram ride.
How to take this tram is easy. You will get on from a back door and get off from a front door. But you can get on whichever you want at the first station of the line. The price for a ride is 210 yen for adults and 110 yen for children. The price doesn’t change depending on the length of your ride. When you get off the tram, you will put money in the fare box which is next to a driver. If you have transportation cards like ICOCA, you can tap it on machines when you get on and get off.
You might think that Hankai tramway is for sightseeing. But it is not. Actually many students and workers use this tramway every time.
You feel specious inside of the car since a ceiling is high. Doors and bars by the windows are pretty old but you can not believe that it was made over 80 years ago.
The Hankai trams have been a part of Osaka life for more than a century and there is definitely so much exploring and discovering to do along this retro railway!
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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