Get a relaxing taste of a tranquil scene and the small towns along the line outside the train windows
The Akechi Railway operates on a local line connecting JR Ena Station with Akechi Station on the Chuo Main Line. It runs slowly on its 25.1km distance in about 50 minutes. A tranquil scene which includes a countryside landscape and flora representing the four seasons plays out for you outside of the train windows. It’s a popular ride for the tourists since they can enjoy a train journey that they can’t usually experience in the city. Along the line, there are towns with the taste of small-town Japan. At Iibama Station, there is a farm village that has been chosen as being No. 1 in the nation for its scenery, and at Iwamura Station, you can take a stroll through old streets from the station up to the remains of Iwamura Castle. At the next station of Hanashiro Onsen, you can enjoy a radium onsen located in front of the station, while you can come across famous cuisine using hoso-kanten jelly that boasts the highest manufacturing output in Japan at Yamaoka Station. And then, finally on reaching Akechi Station, there is Nihon Taisho Village just outside the building where walking the Taisho Era-style modern-retro streets will enhance your journey.
The special trains where you can sample seasonal regional cuisine
The Akechi Railway gets a lot of its popularity through the Taisho Roman express with its club car. Operating every day except Mondays (holiday Mondays are excepted), advance reservations are required to board. On the club car, there are sansai (mountain vegetables) bento lunches in the spring, ayu (sweetfish) dishes in the summer, mushrooms in the fall, and hot pot in the winter among the lineup which uses a bevy of seasonal local ingredients. On the Benten Train which operates between May and September, you can experience kaiseki ryori incorporating the famous hoso-kanten of the town of Yamaoka. As well, on the 2nd Saturday of each month from April to November, there is the Charinko Train which allows bicycles so that you can cycle through each area along the line.