Road Trip on Nagoya Railway Gamagori Line (Part 1)

Japan Hour

Japan Hour - Winter in Japan
Road Trip on Nagoya Railway Gamagori Line (Part 1)

Bookmark

Japan Hour:

Road Trip on Nagoya Railway Gamagori Line (Part 1)

(Updated: )

We embark on a two-day train trip along Nagoya Railroad’s Nishio and Gamagori lines this week, while visiting famous spots recommended by the locals. The two local train lines run through the coastline of Aichi Prefecture. The Nishio Line starting operating in 1928, whereas the Gamagori Line began running in 1933. The latter, a popular tourist train line, runs along Mikawa Bay. We will first travel on the Nishio Line before riding on the Gamagori Line. Our 42.3km journey from Shin Anjo Station to Gamagori Station will take us through 23 stops. 

Our journey begins from Anjo City, where we first buy a two-day pass at the station. We then take the 10.10am train and travel along the Nishio Line to the next station, Kita Anjo. We start looking for locals to ask about recommended places here. A lady tells us to go to a shopping street where there are paintings, wall art and monuments based on stories written by children’s author Nankichi Niimi. He was active during the early Showa Period and is known for works such as “Gon, the Little Fox” and “Grandpa’s Lamp”. 

Nankichi used to live in this town. There is a smartphone app which tells users about the places he used to visit. So we use our smartphone to lead us to Nisshindo, a bookstore which Nankichi used to frequent. It has been around for 135 years. We learn that Anjo is where Nankichi's dream of becoming a children's story writer came true. 

After this, we catch the 11.40am train from Kita Anjo Station and head to Minami Sakurai. Our next train from here departs at 1.20pm. A local suggests we visit a temple called Honshoji, built in the late Kamakura Period. It served as a base for rebel forces during a rebellion against Tokugawa Ieyasu, the ruler at that time. The uprising during the Warring States period was led by followers of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. 

With an outer moat, the temple has an unusual design and looks more like a castle. There are beautiful lotus flowers in the moat. There is even a drum tower, with a taiko drum inside to notify people of the time. It was also used as a watchtower during the battle. 

We next head by train to Nishio Station, which is around 10 minutes away from Minami Sakurai. We ask a local to recommend a nice restaurant for lunch and are told about a cafe called Marina. It opened nearly 50 years ago and its set meals are especially popular. We order the miso pork cutlet and grilled spaghetti set meals. The cutlet is a local delicacy, featuring a sauce made from Hatcho Miso and the restaurant’s own original miso. The spaghetti, meanwhile, is topped with cheese and baked in an oven.  

After our meal, we ask another local resident about inns or hotels where we can spend the night. The person advises us to go to Kiro-cho, which is near the sea. We take the 3.45pm train and alight at Kira Yoshida Station, the last stop on the Nishio Line. We talk to a passerby who names a few lodging places - a Japanese inn called Yamato, Marutora Bekkan, Kira Tourist Hotel and Mikawawan Resort Linx. However, the first three hotels are either full or closed. We manage to secure a room at Mikawawan Resort Linx and the hotel’s bus picks us up from the train station.   

The hotel has spacious Japanese-Western style rooms with a beautiful view of the sea. There are even public baths and open-air baths with hot springs. Before dinner, we head out to walk along the Kira Waikiki Beach, which was named as such with the consent of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Dinner is a buffet spread of over 80 varieties of Japanese and Western food such as steak, sashimi, soy beans, churros and white chocolate fondue.  

The next day, after breakfast, we take the hotel’s shuttle bus to Kira Yoshida Station. We will be travelling on the Gamagori Line this time. We catch the 9.30am train to Mikawa Toba Station, which is less than five minutes away. From there, the next train departs at 10.35am. We go to a gas station nearby to ask about famous spots. We find out that there is a shrine called Shinmeisha where a fire festival is held annually. A 10-minute walk from the station, it is considered a spiritual spot among the locals.

Tips:

1) Visit the Honshoji temple in Anjo, which has been designed like a castle, with an outer moat
2) Check out Japan’s very own “Waikiki Beach” near Mikawawan Resort Linx in Nishio


Most Popular Shows

In Search Of The Frog Boys

In Search Of The Frog Boys

In 1991, South Korea is preoccupied with its first democratic elections in 30 years. But in a village in Daegu, 5 fathers are facing their worst ...

Why It Matters

Why It Matters 3

Our world is changing at a rate like never before. Our lives are getting ever more complicated by the minute. To help make sense of it all, Joshua ...

INSIGHT FY1920

Insight 2019/2020

Insight investigates and analyses topical issues that impact Asia and the rest of the world.

Money Mind

Money Mind 2019/2020

We'll tell you how to make the most of your money but also why money is not an end in itself and connecting financial goals to your life goals is ...