Monday, July 24, 2017

Road to the Resort Island

Diesel rail-car JR West Class KiHa 47 of the KiHa 40 series stands at Shimonoseki Station

Tsunoshima is a small island offshore in the Sea of Japan in Yamaguchi Prefecture, about 1,100 km west of Tokyo. It is famous its white beach with emerald green water. The delicious sea food also attracts holidaymakers. What made Tsunoshima Island famous is Tsunoshima-ohashi Bridge. Connecting Honshu (the main island of Japan) and Tsunoshima Island, whose length is 1,780 m. It was opened in 2000 as a free prefectural road. Amagase Park, which is located at the Honshu side of the bridge entrance, is a notable photogenic spot. 

To get to this resort island, I took the JR West Sanin Line from Shimonoseki, and headed to Kottoi Station. It took about 70 minutes by local train. I, then, changed there for the bus bound for Tsunoshima Island. My vehicle on the Sanin Line was a diesel rail-car, Class KiHa 47 of the KiHa 40 series. The body color was vermilion, which is the so-called "metropolitan color". The KiHa 40 series is a standard diesel rail-car for local lines. It was launched in 1977 by Japanese National Railways (JNR). JNR was Japan's largest railway network at that time, so, the KiHa 40 series was soon introduced to local lines all over Japan such as Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu Island. After JNR was split into seven railway companies in 1987, the KiHa 40 series has started retirement. For instance, the last KiHa 40 series rolling stock in the Tokyo metropolitan area disappeared in March this year. 

I enjoyed the beautiful resort island and the nostalgic diesel rail-car in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Tsunoshima-ohashi bridge near Kottoi Station on the JR West Sanin Line