Ōigawa Railway, Chūbu Region, Japan 

On Shizuoka Prefecture’s local railroad, starting at Shimada City’s Kanaya Station, this is a railroad that runs along the Oigawa River. It is composed of the 39.5km Oigawa Line and the 25.5km Ikawasen Line, and it runs a steam locomotive from Shin-Kanaya Station to Senzu Station. During the summer there is a limited train that mimics Thomas the Train Engine of the popular children’s TV show. At least one of these trains runs per day from late spring up until early December. You can reserve in advance up to 125 days, and as soon as 2 days in advance on their website.

The fare for an adult one-way ticket is 2520 yen to Senzu Station from Shin-Kanaya (1720 fare + steam locomotive express charge 800 yen). It takes about 1h20m total. The steam locomotive runs through the valley and by the tea plantations on the river letting you enjoy the majestic natural scenery.

Epic Japan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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