Sunday, November 22, 2015

Holy River on the Sangu Line

Diesel Railcar KiHa11-300 leaves Iseshi Station on the Sangu Line

Isuzu River is a clear stream in Mie Prefecture, some 470 km southwest of Tokyo. It is beautiful and limpid, but not only that. Isuzu River is a holy river, which appears in Japanese myths. For instance, Princess Yamatohime-no-mikoto, who was a daughter of Emperor Suijin, was said to wash her skirt in river water.

Isuzu River flows in the Inner Shrine of Ise Grand Shrine. It is a holy place for local people. Its origin is unknown, but according to the literature in China, the shrine dates back to at least the era of Emperor Yuryaku, who ruled in the middle of 5th century. Ise Grand Shrine is surrounded by a deep green forest.

To get to this holy river, there are two routes from Nagoya Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen. One is the Kintetsu and the other is JR Central lines. Generally speaking, Kintetsu is more popular among tourists, so, I am going to introduce you to the JR Central route today. Am I perverse?

The JR Central Sangu Line is a 29.1 km-long short local route connecting Wake and Toba stations. It is an un-electrified single track. The gauge size is 1,067 mm. Two or three-car diesel trains are operated every 30 minutes to one hour. If you come from Nagoya, the rapid train, "Mie", is convenient, as it is directly operated onto the Sangu Line via the Kansai Main and the Kisei Main lines. Your exit station is Iseshi. Have a nice trip.

 
Isuzu River near Iseshi Station