Adventure

Take A Ride Through The Japanese Mountains On These Abandoned Tracks

It's like Disneyland, but nature.

The Miyazaki Prefecture on Kyushu Island is filled with towering ancient trees, lovely lakes and all encompassing mountains at each and every angle. It’s a peaceful, secluded place that exhibits the best of southern Japan.

Now, you can ride a cute miniature train through this spectacular scenery like you’re at Disneyland. But instead of cutesy tunes and mannequins, the entertainment is the natural sights and fresh air around you. You’ll chug along the tracks at a peaceful pace, going through tunnels, mountains and the Iwato River below.

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The Iwato River. Image by David Stanley/Flickr.

The trains are run by the Takachiho Amaterasu Rail, which was established after the local community consistently requested that the old rail line be restored. It was once a transport path for larger trains but seized operation in 2005 when it was ravaged by a particularly bad typhoon. Since then, it has remained unused.

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The new and old trains, side by side. Image via 高千穂あまてらす鉄道/Facebook.

Now, the scenic five kilometre ride around the region is a special attraction for tourists with services running every day except Thursday. They’re even adding a larger cart next year to accommodate the demand.

This looks pretty darn special to us. We’re making sure to add a Takachiho Amaterasu Rail ride to our next trip to Japan.

(Lead image via 高千穂あまてらす鉄道/Facebook.)