Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Night View of Toono Station

Diesel railcars, JR East KiHa 100 series arrives at Toono Station on the Kamaishi Line

After stopping at Morioka City, we headed to Toono (or frequently designated as "Tono" in English), a small city in the central part of Iwate Prefecture. Toono is surrounded by the Kitakami Mountains and it is well known as a region of legends and folklores. It became famous after Yanagida Kunio, an ethnologist, wrote a book called, "Toono Monogatari (The legends of Toono)" in 1910.

In fact, there are numerous legends and folklores in this region. "Kappa" and "zashiki warashi" are depicted in many legends. Kappa is an imaginary animal shaped like a child but with a dish of water on its head. It lives on either land or in water. On the other hand, zashiki warashi is a spirit believed to protect houses. Even now, there are some inns, where zashiki warashi is known to appear in the middle of the night. Do you believe in it?

To visit this mysterious city, we took the JR East Kamaishi Line and got off at Toono Station. The Kamaishi Line is a local route connecting Hanamaki on the Tohoku Main line and Kamaishi stations. The total operating length is 90.2 km. The whole route is single and non-electrified. Trains are operated every two hours on average.

When we arrived at Toono Station, it was already dark and rainy... it was so quiet. We checked into a hotel located on the second floor of the small two-storied station building... it was very convenient and cozy.

To be continued...

Night view of Toono Station on the JR East Kamaishi Line