Thursday, 28 January 2016

Goju-no-taki Cascade on the Nichinan Line

Diesel rail-car JR Kyushu KiHa 40 series travels on the Nichinan Line

Inohae is a deep valley in Miyazaki Prefecture, about 1,000 km southwest of Tokyo. The valley is located along Hiroto River, and surrounded by a green forest. It is covered with more than 300 varieties of moss, which are one sixth of the world's moss species.

A place of interest in the valley is Goju-no-taki (Five-level Cascade) in the head stream. As its name suggests, this cascade is composed of five levels of small waterfalls. The total height is 25 m. The outcrop is an alternation of sandstone and shale, which was deposited on the bottom of a deep sea around 30 to 40 million years ago.

To see this beautiful cascade, please take the JR Kyushu Nichinan Line and get off at Kitago Station. The route is a non-electrified single track. The gauge size is 1,067 mm. Diesel rail cars are operated every hour on average. The most convenient train is "Nichinan Marine" departing Miyazaaki Station, but using the local train is also very pleasant, as you can secure enough time to see the beautiful Nichinan coast and the green sub-tropical forest from the train window.

The KiHa 40 series is your vehicle. This model was launched in 1977 to replace old models such as the KiHa 10 series. A total of 888 units had been built for six years. Their sisters are seen across the country such as Hokkaido Island, the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Chugoku District. The white body with a blue stripe is called Kyushu-color train.

Goju-no-taki fall near Kamigo Station on the Nichinan Line