Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Naotora: The Lady Warlord on the Tenryu-Hamanako Line

Unit TH2102 of the Diesel Rail-car TH2100 series travels on the Tenryu-Hamanako Railway

Is movie tourism or TV drama tourism popular in your country? Yes, it is in Japan. For instance, Shimonada Station on the JR Shikoku Yosan Line is famous among movie fans because Shimonada has been used as a shooting location for many movies.

Recently, a popular TV drama "Naotora, the Lady Warlord" aired on Sunday evenings. Naotora was a real person in history. She was born in 1536 as a daughter of the lord of Iinoya. Naotora inherited Iinoya Castle and lived powerfully in the civil war age. She faced many personal troubles, but eventually overcame them. Naotora also lived with love.

"Naotora, the Lady Warlord" is set in the western part of Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, about 270 km west of Tokyo. The nearest station from the Iinoya Castle is Kiga on the Tenryu-Hamanako Railway. This local private railway is the former Futamata Line of Japanese National Railways (JNR). It was spun off from JNR and privatized as the Tenryu-Hamanako Railway in 1986. Connecting Kakegawa and Shinjohara, the route length is 67.7 km. The track is single and non-electrified. A lovely diesel rail-car is operated every half an hour on average. After getting off at Kiga Station, I visited Ryotan-ji, which is the temple of Naotora. The Japanese garden designed by Kobori Enshu in the 17th century was very beautiful.

I enjoyed the TV drama tour and the local railway with my family on an autumn day.

Beautiful garden of Ryotan-ji Temple near Kiga Station on the Tenryu-Hamanako Railway