Mojiko Retro Kanko Line Shiokaze Train

Shiokaze Train in Kyushu

Shiokaze Train in Kyushu

@Japan Visitor

Mojiko Retro Kanko Line Shiokaze Train: The Mojiko Retro Tourist Train Line runs just over two kilometers from near Mojiko Station in Mojiko to Mekari Park.

Starting Station

The starting station and ticket office is located between the Kyushu Railway History Museum and Mojiko Station, the terminus of the Kagoshima Line.

The first stop is Idemitsu Bijitsukan, right in the heart of the main tourist area known as Mojiko Retro.

The next stop is Norfolk Square, a small harbor just before where the train line heads into a tunnel through the headland. The last stop is Kanmonkaikyo Mekari. The journey time is a mere ten minutes.

Historic Train at Mekari Park

Historic Train at Mekari Park

@Japan Visitor

A path follows the train line for much of the way and so it is possible to take the train in one direction and walk back the other.

Several places offer snacks and drinks but the most interesting is in on old railway buffet car connected to an electric locomotive. Beer is also served here.

As you round the headland along the coast road you come into sight of the Kaimonkyo Suspension Bridge looming ahead.

Just on the left is the entrance to the Kanmon pedestrian tunnel that passes under the water across to Shimonoseki on the other side.

Right next to the end station is Mekari Park with a play area for kids, several type of outdoor swimming pools, and of course great sea views.

Shiokaze Train Interior

Shiokaze Train Interior

@Japan Visitor

Mekari means "cutting seaweed" and refers to a unique ceremony that takes place before sunrise on New Year's Day when seaweed is cut from the seashore in front of the shrine and offered to the gods at the shrine.

Seaweed is associated with longevity and seaweed was sent from here to the Imperial Court in Kyoto in the early 8th century.

The shrine is a great spot to sit a while and watch the ships and boats passing by. This is a very busy channel, being the shortest route between Tokyo and Osaka to Korea and China, consequently ships and boats of all sizes and types pass through in both directions.

Being a narrow entrance between the Sea of Japan and the Inland Sea the currents top speed is eight kilometers an hour.

Torii Gate at Mekari Shrine

Torii Gate at Mekari Shrine

@Wikimedia

The path now takes you beneath the impressive Kanmonkyo Suspension Bridge, opened in 1973.

It is still listed among the 50 biggest suspension bridges in the world. Its total length is a little over one kilometer, and the central span is 712 meters.

The channel opens up a little from here with the distinctive  Kaikyo Yume Tower clearly visible on the Shimonoseki side and Mojiko on the Kyushu side.

After passing Norfolk Square and the small fishing ports you start to enter Mojiko and the busier tourist areas known as Mojiko Retro.

Kanmon Bridge, Kyushu

Kanmon Bridge, Kyushu

@Wikimedia

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