10 Best Scenic Train Rides In Japan to Explore

Japan has many things it’s known for but scenic train rides are usually not at the top of the list unfortunately which is why in this post I want to share with you the top ones you can explore if you visit this beautiful country and their details.

Here are the scenic train rides in Japan:

  1. Sagano Scenic Railway
  2. Gono Line
  3. Tadami Line
  4. Hisatsu Line
  5. Oigawa Railway
  6. Nankai Electric Railway
  7. Hakone Tozan Railway
  8. Kurobe Gorge Railway
  9. Yurikamome Line
  10. Aizu Railway

On their own these names may not mean much which is why I’m going to give you a brief summary and photos of them to help you better pick out which one/s to choose from.

Sagano Scenic Railway:

Sagano Scenic Railway

The Sagano Scenic Railway, also known as the Sagano Romantic Train, offers a 25-minute journey through the picturesque Hozugawa Ravine in Kyoto. The ride features stunning views of lush forests, mountains, and the Hozu River, especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season in spring and the vibrant foliage in autumn. The train’s old-fashioned, open-sided cars provide an immersive experience of the natural beauty.

  • Location: Starts in Saga Torokko Station in Arashiyama, Kyoto, and Kameoka Torokko Station in Kameoka.
  • Ticket pricing: 620 yen for adults and 310 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 25 minutes one way

Gono Line:

gono line

The Gono Line runs along the coast of the Sea of Japan, offering breathtaking views of the ocean, rugged cliffs, and scenic rice paddies. This 147.2 km route between Aomori and Akita Prefectures is particularly beautiful during sunset and offers glimpses of the Shirakami-Sanchi mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Location: The Gono Line operates between Higashi-Noshiro Station in Akita Prefecture and Kawabe Station in Aomori Prefecture
  • Ticket pricing: 3,200 yen for adults
  • Duration: 5 hours

Tadami Line:

Tadami Line

The Tadami Line is known for its beautiful landscapes, including picturesque valleys, rivers, and snow-covered scenes in winter. This scenic route through the mountains of Fukushima and Niigata Prefectures offers stunning views of the Tadami River and numerous bridges crossing the valley.

  • Location: The Tadami Line operates between Aizu-Wakamatsu Station in Fukushima Prefecture and Koide Station in Niigata Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: 2,800 yen for adults
  • Duration: 4 hours

Hisatsu Line:

Kaze Hisatsu Line

The Hisatsu Line is a historic route that includes views of rolling hills, terraced rice fields, and the majestic Mount Kirishima. This line runs through the scenic countryside of Kumamoto and Kagoshima Prefectures, offering a peaceful and nostalgic journey.

  • Location: The Hisatsu Line operates between Yatsushiro Station in Kumamoto Prefecture and Hayato Station in Kagoshima Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: Around 1,500 yen for adults
  • Duration: 3 hours

Oigawa Railway:

Kananeji Oigawa Railway

The Oigawa Railway offers a vintage steam train ride through the scenic Oi River valley, featuring beautiful views of tea plantations and the Southern Alps. The nostalgic atmosphere and charming old-fashioned carriages make this a popular ride among tourists and train enthusiasts.

  • Location: The Oigawa Railway operates between Kanaya Station and Senzu Station in Shizuoka Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: 1,620 yen for adults and 810 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes one way

Nankai Electric Railway:

Nankai Electric Railway

The Nankai Electric Railway takes passengers from Osaka to the sacred mountain of Koyasan, passing through serene forests and mountainous terrain. This route is a spiritual journey, providing access to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Koyasan, known for its historic temples and tranquil atmosphere.

  • Location: The Railway operates between Namba Station in Osaka and Gokurakubashi Station near Koyasan in Wakayama Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: 1,290 yen for adults and 650 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes one way

Hakone Tozan Railway:

Hakone tozan

The Hakone Tozan Railway is a scenic mountain railway that winds through lush forests and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This charming ride features switchbacks and tunnels, enhancing the adventure as it climbs to the hot spring town of Hakone.

  • Location: The Hakone Tozan Railway operates between Odawara Station and Gora Station in Kanagawa Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: 660 yen for adults and 330 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 1 hour one way

Kurobe Gorge Railway:

Kurobe Gorge Railway

The Kurobe Gorge Railway is a narrow-gauge railway that takes passengers through the remote and scenic Kurobe Gorge. This journey offers spectacular views of deep ravines, forests, and hot springs, making it a popular attraction for nature lovers and photographers.

  • Location: The Kurobe Gorge Railway operates between Unazuki Station and Keyakidaira Station in Toyama Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: 1,980 yen for adults and 990 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes one way

Yurikamome Line:

Yurikamome line train

The Yurikamome Line is an elevated train ride offering stunning views of Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge, and the futuristic architecture of Odaiba. This automated guideway transit system provides a unique perspective of Tokyo’s waterfront area.

  • Location: The Yurikamome Line operates between Shimbashi Station and Toyosu Station in Tokyo.
  • Ticket pricing: 320 yen for adults and 160 yen for children (one way)
  • Duration: 30 minutes one way

Aizu Railway:

Aizu Railway

The Aizu Railway offers a picturesque route through the Aizu region, featuring views of traditional villages, rice paddies, and the beautiful Okawa River. This scenic ride is particularly charming in the autumn when the foliage is at its peak.

  • Location: The Aizu Railway operates between Nishi-Wakamatsu Station and Aizu-Tajima Station in Fukushima Prefecture.
  • Ticket pricing: Tickets vary by distance traveled, but a typical fare from Nishi-Wakamatsu to Aizu-Tajima is around 1,600 yen for adults.
  • Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

These 10 amazing scenic train rides in Japan are excellent for including in your trip itineraries and depending on where you’re going in the country, you now have many different choices of places located near major cities/areas of the country.

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