We love trains. Trains are not only the safest and fastest way to commute, they're also an important part of Japanese culture. In Japan, you have trains everywhere and they almost never stop! With people leaving rural areas for big cities, some lines struggle because of the lack of customers. In order to keep the trains running, companies converted them into attractions. The Wakayama Kishigawa Line (貴志川線) is a perfect example of this conversion! The 15km line, located in the south of the Kansai prefecture, links the cites of Wakayama and Kishi and features 4 different trains: the Tama Densha, the Ichigo Densha, Umebushi Densha and Omocha Densha. The last one (toy train) is especially designed for kids, with tons of games and toys inside, and only runs on week days.
Isn't Idakiso the cutest little station you ever saw? That's where we started our journey! The line starts at Wakayama city, but it's better to ride the train from an other smaller station and get a proper immersion.
You can purchase cat related goods in most stations.
The "Tama Densha" (Cat Train) is the main attraction and the most popular one.
Carefull not to have your paw stuck up in the doors!
Inside the train, there's library with all sort of cat and train related books.
The tsurikawas are made of wood, with a unique shape. (Need one of those for our private collection!)
Interior is very comfy, with wooden decoration and nice sofa-like seats.
Close-up on the Tama Tsurikawa (OvO)
Photos and drawings everywhere to remind you who is the boss the train line!
Speaking of boss, surrounding the time schedule and station list, you can find photos of all the former train station Masters.
And of course, you can also meet the current Train Station Master in person: Nitama! Spending most of his days sleeping...
At Kishi station (end of the line) there is a goods shop with all kind of cat related products.
Sweets, packed in a metal box, very popular in Japan!
T-shirts with a portrait of the Master!
To be honest, there is not much to do around Kishi station, but you can chill a moment at the Tama Cafe...
And get a Hot Cat (no hot dog available, sorry...) and an ice cream coffee!
On the way back, don't hesitate to pick an other train, like the Ichigo (strawberry) for example!
Different atmosphere here, with strawberries everywhere!
Even on seat covers!
Remember the blog post we did on the Heart-Shapped Tsurikawa? (>here<) Well, we found Heart-shaped tsurikawa in the Ichigo train! \(^o^)/
In the middle of the line, next to Oike Yuen station (大池遊園), you can find a little lake and relax there for a couple of hours.
And on your way back home, don't hesitate to ride the Umeboshi Densha (Salt Plum Train) and add an other flavor to your experience!
If you travel in the Kansai area and want to get off the beaten track, don't hesitate to head to Wakayama and ride with the Kishi Line!