Oita

Visit Bungomori Roundhouse/ Railway Turntable, Ruins Going by Yufuin no Mori

In 2015, JR Kyushu’s popular sightseeing train, “Yufuin no Mori,” added an additional car, transforming it into a 5-car train. This expansion garnered significant attention. JR Kyushu

The interior of the new car, designed with a forest theme, offers a tranquil and healing space.

* Fun fact: “mori” means forest in Japanese.

The “Yufuin no Mori” train itself has become a major tourist attraction.

A 30-minute journey from Yufuin Station, on the train’s operational route, brings you to the Bungomori Station in Kusu Town, Oita Prefecture. Here lies the “Former Bungomori Roundhouse/Railway Turntable,” a national tangible cultural treasure preserving a historic locomotive roundhouse.

20 Places to See in Yufuin, OitaWelcome to attractive Yufuin, where are full of nature and energy vo...

The ruins, set against a vivid, lush lawn, are artistically stunning and evoke a sense of romance.

The site also displays a locomotive, which is beautifully illuminated during the roundhouse festival.

A New Car Added to “Yufuin no Mori” on the Hakata to Beppu Route

Did you know that in July 2015, a new car was added to JR Kyushu’s popular sightseeing train, “Yufuin no Mori,” which connects Hakata Station with Yufuin and Beppu Stations?

This new car was designed by Mr. Eiji Mitooka, who is also the designer of “Seven Stars,” a luxury cruise train in Kyushu.

It’s well-known that many people visit Yufuin for sightseeing, but the train line also passes through several other charming towns worth exploring.

* The train makes only one round trip per day to Beppu Station.

Currently, the new car operates between Hakata Station and Yufuin Station (Yufuin no Mori 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th cars).

To make a reservation, please visit the JR Kyushu online booking site.

The Car Interior: A Forest-Inspired Healing Space

The floor of the new car is made from Japanese oak timber boards, while the ceiling and seats are adorned with leaf patterns, creating an atmosphere akin to being in a forest.

The armrests are designed using “Kumiko” works, a traditional woodworking technique from Okawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture.

* Kumiko is a traditional Japanese technique of joining small wooden parts without nails.

Please note that the new car is car number 4. Be mindful of this when making your reservation.

Yufuin no Mori is also popular among international visitors. There can be long waits for the onboard restaurant, so it’s advisable to head there as soon as you board if you plan to dine.

Artistic and Romantic: The “Bungomori Roundhouse/Railway Turntable” Ruins

Image by www.ana.co.jp

Near Bungomori Station, which is about a 30-minute ride from Yufuin Station on “Yufuin no Mori,” lies the historical roundhouse and railway turntable. This 1,734 square meter site once housed 25 locomotives and employed over 200 staff before the Bungomori locomotive depot closed in 1971.

The preservation of these ruins was largely due to the efforts of local residents. A signature campaign advocating for their conservation gathered 22,000 signatures, both locally and beyond, influencing the local government’s decision.

This local initiative also led to the site receiving designation as a national tangible cultural treasure.

Locomotive on Display and Illuminated in October

As the only remaining roundhouse in its original form in Kyushu, and one of the few in Japan, like the Umekoji Roundhouse in Kyoto, it represents a significant piece of railway heritage. A locomotive, transferred from Shime Town, Fukuoka Prefecture in June 2015, is displayed in front of the roundhouse.

Additionally, a roundhouse festival is held annually in October, featuring nighttime illuminations.

Romantic Aura Emanates from the Ruins with Broken Glass and Bullet Holes from Machine Gun Fire

During the war, it was targeted by the US Army, leaving the ruins with bullet holes from machine gun fire still visible on the walls.

On sunny days, the blue sky reflected in the shattered glass adds to the romantic ambiance of the site.

* Please note, while observation is free, entry inside the roundhouse is prohibited due to deterioration.

Visitors are requested to observe from outside the roped-off areas.

Experience a Journey Surrounded by Greenery from Yufuin to Bungomori

Embark on a scenic railway journey from Yufuin to Bungomori, where you’ll be enveloped by lush green landscapes along the tracks.

Consider extending your trip to Hita. For a complete experience, we recommend traveling both ways, once with the “Yufuin no Mori” train and once via a local train, to fully enjoy the contrasting journeys.

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