Trains Galore! from Takamatsu to Wadayama – by Midori / 鉄道の旅を満喫して ~高松から和田山まで~ -五嶋みどり

Trains Galore! from Takamatsu to Wadayama – by Midori

During an ICEP tour, we rely on public transportation, and we experience different trains almost every day. For me, it is very special, because in a rather short span of time of the tour, I get to see so many different types of trains, with varied designs. On June 13, we started our day getting on to a Kotohira Train (aka Kotodaira), a local line that starts from the Takamatsu Castle. The station was literally on the moat of the Castle. (It felt like the station was floating over water for us.) This moat distinguishes itself from having sea water directly from the sea and is unusually rich in sea life such as sea bream, sea bass, flounder, and squid. The train we took was brightly decorated with some kind of a cat-like figure.

After our presentations in Takamatsu at three different facilities for the elderly, we were back at the Takamatsu Station, on our way to Wadayama in Hyogo Prefecture. Within about 4 hours, we were on 4 different trains, being transported from a city surrounded by the sea on the Shikoku Island to a town deep in the mountains where the very locals affectionately call their home ground the Japanese Machu Picchu. Wadayama is the seat of the Takeda Castle, which reigns high in the mountains and gives a mystic impression to its viewers when surrounded by misty clouds.

First was the JR Marine Liner, which connects Takamatsu and Okayama. The views are unbelievable, going over the water. The Seto Bridge goes almost 6 miles over the channel, and to be surrounded on both sides of the train by unending sea got us going, humming the Debussy Quartet in our heads. Off the Marine Liner in Okayama, we boarded the JR Shinkansen, Sakura. About 30 minutes later, we were at Himeji Station, and now came the Bantan Train. The Bantan train operates halfway to Wadayama (last stop of the Line) on electric engine, but then the rest of the way is on diesel. We hopped across the platform at Teramae Station to board the train, which I later found out from the conductor that it has been in service for almost 30 years!

The train rides in a single day was an experience to itself!

Takamatsu Chikko Station
Kotodaira Train
Bantan Diesel Train


鉄道の旅を満喫して ~高松から和田山まで~



まず1つ目は高松と岡山を結ぶJRマリンライナー。 瀬戸大橋の海峡部(約10キロ)を走っているとき、両側に果てしなく広がる海の絶景を堪能していると、ふとドビュッシーの弦楽四重奏のメロディーが浮かんできました。岡山でマリンライナーを降りて、JR新幹線さくらに乗り継ぎ、約30分後には姫路駅に到着。そして次はJR播但線です。播但線は姫路駅から途中の寺前駅まで電化されていて、そこから終点の和田山まではディーゼルで運行されているため、寺前駅で乗換えが必要でした。後で車掌さんから教えてもらったのですけれども、その列車は30年も使われているのですって!