Thursday, 15 September 2016

Sankyoson: Beautiful Countryside on the Johana Line

DMU JR West 47 series stands at Takaoka Station on the Johana Line 

Sankyoson is one of the settlement patterns in the countryside of the world. Each farmstead is scattered throughout the area. In other words, houses are not densely distributed like a nucleated village.

Generally speaking, sankyoson is not common in Japan, probably because our country is narrow; however, there are several exceptions. For instance, we can see a typical sankyoson on the Tonami Plain in Toyama Prefecture. Once you climb up a hill, named Hachibuseyama, you will then see dispersed farmers' houses surrounded by green paddies. If you look carefully, you will also find that each house is protected by a windbreak forest. It is very beautiful scenery, isn't it?

To get to this gorgeous observatory, please take the JR West Johana Line and get off at Tonami Station. The Johana Line is an un-electrified single track. Connecting Takaoka Station to Johana Terminal, its route length is 29.9 km. The old DMU KiHa 47 series is the main fleet on the route. The KiHa 47 series was launched by Japanese National Railways in 1977. So far, a total of 370 units have been built by Niigata Tekko and Fuji Heavy industries. Different from the KiHa 40 series, which is a double cab car, the KiHa 47 series is a single cab car. Furthermore, the KiHa 47 series has double doors; meanwhile the KiHa 40 series has single doors on each unit.

Taking the local Johana Line, please visit traditional sankyoson in Tonami Plain.

The scenery of Sankyoson from Hachibuseyama observatory