Skip to main content

Paper phantoms

We picked up our 14 day Japan Rail Pass vouchers from Pitt Travel this evening. I also grabbed a copy of the free JNTO Tourist Map of Japan, a treasured reference when it comes to planning trips. The map shows major railway lines, roads, onsens and other sites across the islands.

While gazing at Hokkaido, the large north island to which I've never been, I noticed a long stretch of private railway running between Ikeda and Kitami. That would probably contain some pretty interesting scenery, I thought to myself.  I wonder what it's called and what its story is.

Some net searching later I had my answer: the Hokkaido Chihoku Highland Line. Sadly, after 95 years of service, it closed in April of 2006. The (Daily) Rail Photo has an account of riding on the line in its last days of service.

Now it exists only as a phantom line on a piece of paper.


Popular posts from this blog

My first overseas trip: Singapore and Malaysia

I've always loved to travel. My first memory is of sitting in a an aircraft, aged 18 months or so. Yet I never believed that I could travel overseas. To me, it seemed like something you did when you retired, or if you were rich. That all changed when I met B. She had not only travelled overseas, she was from overseas . B was born in Malaysia and arrived in Australia, with her family, in 1988. She still had relatives and friends in Malaysia and Singapore and she, along with the remainder of her family, planned to return for a visit during the Australian summer of 1995. At the time I was staying in B's mother's house while we were studying at university. After B's father passed away the year before I was the nominal "man" of the house and its high maintenance garden; her brother Michael was studying up in Queensland. B and I were quite inseparable and her mother kindly offered to pay for me to join them on their vacation. So it was that I obtained my very firs

One night in Canberra

It's the April school holidays and we are too busy to have a break but need one because of that. And because it's the Easter weekend the options are limited, so we just drive down to Canberra for the night. No, this isn't our first trip for 2023. I wrote about Japan on another site .  I refuse to wake up early so we depart after 8.30 AM. There is not much to say about the drive except that the clouds seem so low and Lake George is very full. We stop at a rest area and at the lookout up the hill to take it all in. Everyone is hungry so we first stop in Dickson and then can't think of anything to eat, so I drive us to Civic, where we can't decide and end up eating at the Singaporean Killiney Kopitiam branch.  The Canberra Centre has nice shops. I dream of getting an iPad from the Apple Store, we buy a blanket and toothbrushes from Muji and wish that Lego wasn't so expensive. Nothing we can't get in Sydney, but then we rarely go out shopping in the city. It'