Japan has a dense train network and in autumn, trains operating in the countryside take you through an amazing experience of enjoying the beauty of autumn colors. Across Japan, photography lovers tug their tripods looking for the perfect photo spots, here are some favorites.
Kurobe Gorge Unazuki Torokko Train, Toyama
In autumn, the Unazuki Torokko Train (宇奈月トロッコ) runs from Unazuki to Keyakidaira and takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. Throughout this line, there are many spots but the most popular spot is Yamabiko Tenbodai (やまびこ展望台). The contrast between the cool blue water, the warm red leaves and the bright red bright is breathtaking.
Official site: http://www.kurotetu.co.jp/en/fare/
Suigun Line, Ibaraki
The Suigun Line (JR水郡線) runs between Mito Station in Ibaraki and Asaka-Nagamori Station in Fukushima. The autumn foliage is best between Yamagatajuku Station and Iwaki-Ishii Station as the train traverses through a valley. Yamatsuriyama Station (矢祭山) is the most popular area; if you follow the river along the tracks, you are bound to get a glimpse of the train zooming through the foliage.
Eizan Railway, Kyoto
Eizan Train (叡山電鉄) runs from Demachiyanagi Station up to Kibune and Kurama in the north of Kyoto. The Momiji Leaf Tunnel between Ichihara Station and Ninose Station has both sides of the tracks lined by kaede (Japanese maple).
During autumn, this tunnel is lit up adding to the glorious warmth of the 280 maple trees.
Official website: https://eizandensha.co.jp/en/
Tadami Train Line, Fukushima
The Tadami Line (只見線) runs from Aizu-wakamatsu to Koide. The best photo spot along here is the Tadamigawa Bridge No. 1 (只見川第一橋梁). A bit tricky to get here by public transport and most photographers choose to drive up here. Also popular for its snowy winter scene.
Sanriku Tetsudou Kita Riasu Line, Iwate
Facing the Pacific Ocean, the Sanriku Line (三陸鉄道北リアス線) runs between Miyako and Kuji. A popular photo spot is between Horinai and Shiraikaigan stations. Oozawa Bridge (大沢橋) looks toward the tracks where the train emerges from a tunnel. Make sure to check a train timetable so you don’t have to wait for too long to snap this shot!
Autumn is easily one of the best times to spend a day or two in the Japanese countryside.
Check our other features on the seasonal glory of autumn!