Shiga

Retro station and rice field art! Shigaraki Railway’s Journey

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Shigaraki is located in Koka city in Shiga prefecture.

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Shigaraki Railway is the third sector railway, 14.7km long, connecting Shigaraki Station in Shigaraki, the pottery city famous for “Shigaraki pottery”, one of Japan’s six ancient kilns, to Kibugawa Station, the connection station between JR Kusatsu Line and Omi Railway.

From the train window, passengers can enjoy the scenery of the four seasons, such as fresh greenery and autumn leaves, which soothes the mind of the passengers, and “rice field art” can be enjoyed depending on the season.

Why don’t you enjoy a 24-minute train ride on the Shigaraki Railway, which runs through the beautiful nature?

Shigaraki Station, the first station of Shigaraki Railway

Shigaraki Station, the first station of the Shigaraki Railway, is the only manned station on the Shigaraki Line.

There is a two-way, two-sided, two-track platform, and passengers only use the platform on the station building side to get on and off.

In front of the station, there is a large raccoon dog, about 5 meters high, that greets visitors.

You will also be dressed in seasonal costumes.

A variety of railway goods are available at the station’s kiosk.

We recommend the “rail objet” that looks like a “rail that doesn’t fall” or “rail that didn’t fall” that would please students taking entrance exams and the “lucky ticket” to bring happiness that was prayed for at Shingu Shrine in Shikaraki Ichinomiya.

On the other side of the platform, which is connected to the railway crossing, there are many raccoon dogs, which are famous for Shigaraki, lined up in a row.

Information

Address: 192 Nagano, Shigaraki-cho, Koga City, Shiga Prefecture

Access: Transfer from Kusatsu Station on the JR Biwako Line to Kibugawa Station via Kusatsu Line.

24 minutes from Kibugawa Station.

The Dai-Ichi Otogawa River Bridge, a must-see for railway fans

On the platform of Shigaraki Railway, a Shigaraki-yaki raccoon dog is placed to give passengers a charming appearance.

The photo shows Gyokukeijimae Station, the closest station to Gyokukeji Temple.

A 3-minute walk from Gyokukeijimae Station, the Dai-Ichi Otogawa River Bridge is locate.

It is the first full-fledged prestressed concrete (PC) bridge in Japan built in 1954, which is a registered tangible cultural property of Japan.

Gyokukeijimae Station is also the closest station to the Hora Suspension Bridge, which is a recommended photo spot for Shigaraki Railway.

The suspension bridge is narrow, so be careful not to disturb other passersby when taking pictures.

Information
Gyokukeijimae Station

Address: Aza Okude, Teshigashi, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture

Access: 2 minutes from Shigaraki Station

Hora Suspension Bridge

Address: 891 Tesshi, Shigaraki-cho, Koka-shi, Shiga 529-1804, Japan

Shigaraki Railway’s oldest “Kumoi Station” and former Ise “Hikumo Shrine”.

The station building of the Shigaraki Railway’s Kumoi Station is the only one left since the Shigaraki Line opened in 1933 (Showa 8).

The quaint wooden station building has been used for filming dramas and other events.

Information
Kumoi Station

Address: Aza Nagaochi, Maki, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture

Phone: 0748-82-3391 (Shigaraki Station)

Access: 7 minutes from Shigaraki Station.

Located about a 5 minute walk from Kumoi Station, Hikumo Shrine is a rare shrine where the Shigaraki Railway tracks cross the approach to the shrine and the torii.

What’s more, the level crossing is a “Class 4 level crossing” that is no alarms or cut-offs, so some people may feel the scenery of good old Japan.

The origin of the shrine is said to be the “Koka Hikumo Shrine” at former-Ise, where the fourth emperor’s daughter “Yamato Hime-no-mikoto” of the 11th Emperor Taruhito traveled from Yamato to seek the shrine of Amaterasu-omikami and stayed there for four years.

The main hall, built in 1691 (Genroku 4), has been designated a tangible cultural property by the government.

In the solemn atmosphere of the old shrine, you will be able to think in the past.

The photo shows the wrapping train “SHINOBI-TRAIN” SKR No. 312, which passes through the level crossing of Hikumo Shrine like a “ninja run”.

Information
Hikumo Shrine

Address: 75 Maki, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture

Access: About 5 minutes on foot from Kumoi Station

The 2019 “Ushikai Rice Field Art”

The “Rice Field Art” is a series of giant pictures and letters made from different colors of rice, using the rice paddies as a canvas.

The “USHIKAI Rice Field Art” is carried out by local people in the rice paddies of Ushikai, Mizuguchi-cho, Koga City, with the hope that “more people will ride the Shigaraki Railway“, and 2019 will be the fifth year of the event.

In 2019, the event is tied in with the biggest music event in Shiga Prefecture, the Inazuma Rock Fes, which will feature the Inazuma Rock logo and an illustration of Tabo-kun, the official character of the Inazuma Rock Fes, on the rice paddies.

The rice field art can be seen from inside the train from Shigaraki to Kibugawa in about 12 minutes from Shigaraki-gushi Station in the direction of travel

And from Kibugawa to Shigaraki in about 2 minutes from Kibugawa Station in the direction of travel, on the left.

Caution

The 2019 rice art was held until Sunday, October 13, the scheduled rice harvest date.

Rice field might be held until that season in every year.

The last stop, Kibugawa Station, is a hub for the Shigaraki Railway, the JR Kusatsu Line, and the Omi Railway’s Mizuguchi and Komono Lines.

There are no Shigaraki Railway ticket booths at Kiiokawa Station, so you have to pay for your ticket on board.

 

Information
Kibugawa Station

Address: 875 Mushibuno, Mizuguchi-cho, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture

Phone: 0748-82-3391 (Shigaraki Station)

Access: 24 minutes from Shigaraki Station on Shigaraki Railway.

25 minutes from Kusatsu Station on JR Biwako Line.

USHIKAI Rice Field Art can also be visited on foot from Kibugawa Station.

However, it only looks flat, not three-dimensional.

You can see that the rice field art is viewed from inside the train.

It is forbidden to enter the railroad tracks.

Information
USHIKAI Rice Field Art

Address: Ushikai rice paddies, Mizuguchi-cho, Koga City, Shiga Prefecture

Access: About 20 minutes on foot from Kibugawa Station

Introducing a great deal on tickets!

How did you like it?

Here are some of the best deals on Shigaraki Railway tickets.

One is the “Rice Field Art Free Ride Ticket (1 day ticket)”, which costs 920 yen and is limited to the day of use and you can ride as many times as you like on Shigaraki Railway.

However, they are not sold in the train, so if you take the train from Kibugawa Station, you should take the train to Shigaraki Station and buy it at Shigaraki Station.

Information
Rice Field Art Free Ticket

The information is as of 2019

Sales location: Shigaraki Station

Release Period: Sunday, June 2, 2019 – Monday, September 30, 2019

Period of use: Sunday, June 2, 2019 – Thursday, October 31, 2019

Please take this opportunity to enjoy a trip on the Shigaraki Railway.

This information is current as of July 2019.

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