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A JAPANESE JOURNEY
29/09/14 TO 05/10/14
by Howard Forster and Chris Campbell
Photos by CC Chris Campbell, HF Howard Forster, CP Charles Pettican

Japan had not been considered for a trip as we thought it would be too expensive. On examining Princess Cruises 2014 brochure, three new cruises were being introduced around Japan. The ports on two of them looked interesting as it would be possible to visit the seven main steam locomotive museums from them. On checking their opening times, all fitted in with the days in port. An enquiry was then made to Travelbag, who have given us good prices for previous trips, who came up with a price including flights from Newcastle for two 9 day cruises and a night in Tokyo for £1885. The trip was booked, as well as an add on excursion to Mount Fuji with a return by Shinkansen.

24/09/2014 Tokyo. A trip was made by JR train to Koganei Park which contains a most interesting collection of buildings from the past. It also contains C57-186 4-6-2 (Mit 519/46), together with a coach.

25/09/2014 Mount Fuji was visited in brilliant sunshine before lunch. Mist descended, which lasted for the remainder of the day, and made a gondola trip to a viewpoint a waste of time. Travelling back to Tokyo centre by Shinkansen did not create much of an impression, as it was after nightfall and as a result there was no sense of speed. Dusk came early, light was fading fast at 5:00pm, and darkness soon followed.

26/09/2014 The Shiba Park Hotel in which we stayed, was quite near to Diamon metro station and Hamamatsucho JR station. All of the station names on both systems were shown in English as well as Japanese. Announcements of stations and indicators on the trains were also bi-lingual. All of the ticket machines had an English button on them, which simplified ticket purchases. On the metro the lines were colour coded and named, and the stations were numbered. Our wives travelled on the metro from Daimon A09, on the Asakusa line, to Asakusa A18, in order to visit the the Sensoji Temple, the oldest in Tokyo, which dates from 628 A.D. The numbering system made travel straight forward. We travelled by JR to Ome in order to visit the railway park.

Ome Railway Park is about 200m from the station as the crow flies. What no one tells you is that it is 75m higher up a very steep hill. A location in the sidings adjacent to the station would have been more appropriate. An admission charge of £0.60 had been introduced this year. All of the exhibits although exposed to the elements, were kept in first class condition. On display were: 110 2-4-0T (YE164/71), 2221 0-6-2T (NB 16739/05), 5540 4-4-0 (BP 3911/97), 8620 2-6-0 (KisSeiz 119/14), 9608 2-8-0 (Kaw 81/13), C11-1 2-6-4T (KisSeiz 1174/32), D51-452 2-8-2 (KisSeiz 1871/40), E10-2 2-10-4T (KisSeiz 2446/48), ED16-1 2-Bo-Bo-2 (Mit 106/31), 40-054 Bo-Bo ERC (TanShar -/32), Shinkansen 22-75 Bo-Bo (KisSeiz -/69) one car only, and on a children's railway, a small version of BENKEI 2-6-0, which hauled the first train on Hokkaido.

27/09/2014 A JR train was taken to Nippori, on passing through Shimbashi, the terminus of the first railway in Japan, C11-292 2-6-4T (NipShar-/45) was noted plinthed in front of the station. From Nippori, a Nippori-Toneri Liner train was taken to Nishiaraidishinishi. These are short trains with rubber tyres running on elevated track clear of buildings and roads. A taxi was then taken to Kitashikahama Park where C50-75 2-6-0 (Kaw 1333/29) was plinthed. After returning to Nippori, a JR train was taken to Ueno, followed by a metro to Asakusa, the 1931 art deco terminus of the Tobu Railway, from where a Tobu Skytree Line train was taken to Higashi-Mukojima.

Beneath the station at street level, is located the Tobu Museum of Transport and Culture. It contains exhibits from the Tobu Railway which has remained independent since it opened in1899. Freight traffic ceased in 2003, to leave a very busy network of lines serving commuters from the North and East of Tokyo.

Displayed were 5 4-4-0 (BP 4028/98), which hauled the first passenger train, 101 Bo-Bo E (Dick Kerr/EEC 741/28), the first electric locomotive, ED5015 Bo-Bo E (Hit -/59), 5 Bo-Bo ERC (NipShar -/24) wooden bodied, one of the first batch of ERCs used on the railway. 5701 Bo-Bo ERC (KisSeiz -/51), the first limited stop ERC to be purchased. Due to lack of space some of the exhibits were outside in the street, 1720 Bo-Bo ERC (-/60), Nikko Tramway tram 203 (-/54) and 6 4-4-0 BP (4029/98). 29/09/2014 In Kushiro Saiwaicho Park C58-106 (KisSeiz 1664/38) was plinthed. At Seisaku Jo in a factory car park was 8722 (KisSeiz 109/14), believed to be the only surviving 4-6-0 in Japan.

01/10/2014 Russia. Sakhalin Island was taken from Russia by the Japanese in 1905 and returned to the Soviet Union in 1945. The railways were constructed and stocked by Japan during their period of control. Visits to Russia can only be made if holding a visa or if for less than 72hours, on an organised excursion. We attempted to book an organised excursion weeks before departure and found we could not, as apparently there were insufficient Russian guides available. Purchasing a visa was not considered as it would cost around £125, and the main interest would have been D51-22 2-8-2, one of 181 which survive today.

According to Google streetview in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, D51-22 is plinthed just off Lenin Square, this was verified by another traveller who did go ashore. Also shown on Google, north of the station is a small museum containing (K) 4-78 0-8-0 750mm, TU7-015 750mm and various other track machines and coaches.

02/10/2014 Otaru About 5 miles to the southwest on road 393, is the Hokkaido Winery. Opposite it and out of sight away from the right side of the road were D51-286 2-8-2 (Kaw 2192/39) and 59614 2-8-0 (Kaw 713/21) together with two coaches. A taxi was used to reach the site then to return us to the railway museum. In Nov 1882, the first railway on Hokkaido was completed. It was used to convey coal from the mines in Horonai to the port of Otaru. Part of the line in the centre of Otaru has been preserved as a monument. At the port end of the line, the original roundhouse survives as part of the Otaru Railway Museum.

Apart from 6 SHIZUKA 2-6-0 (Porter 672/84), in the main building, the majority of the other exhibits were outdoors. In steam giving rides within the museum site was oil fired Cie Agricola De Guatemala 3 2-6-0 (Porter 4514/09). Displayed around the spacious site were 30 2-6-0 (Tem -/95), C12-6 2-6-2T (KisSeiz -/33), C55-50 4-6-2 (KisSeiz 1438/37), ED75-501 Bo-Bo (Mit -/66), ED76-509 Bo-2-Bo, DD13-611 Bo-Bo, DD14-323 Bo-Bo, DD15-37 Bo-Bo, DD16-17 Bo-Bo, DD51-615 B-2-B, DE10-503 C-B, 03-1 4w DRC (Tok -/56), 25-1 Bo-Bo DRC (--/58), 56-23 4 car DRC set (Tok -/61), 82-1 Bo-Bo DRC 2 car set (NipShar -/61) and six assorted snowploughs.

03/10/2014 Hakodate
was being used by both diesel and electric railcars; many of the former were being serviced in the large depot adjacent to the station. Large hoardings around the station were proclaiming that the Shinkansen was coming to Hakodate in 2015.

05/10/14 Aomori In Gappo Park being cosmetically restored was C11-167 2-6-4T (KisSeiz 1932/40). At this point the cruise schedule was changed in order to avoid a typhoon which was sweeping the south coast of Honshu. Arrival in Yokohama was put back two days, and departure was to be at 2:00pm instead of 6:00pm, which meant that we would have less time ashore.

08/10/2014 A direct train from Yokohama to Omiya passed the electric locomotive depot at Shin Tsurumi, adjacent to Shin Kawasaki Station, which we did not have time to visit due to the amended schedule.

Omiya Locomotive Works between the station and the museum had C57-180 4-6-2 (Mit 513/46) visible. From Omiya station the Saitama Shin-Toshikoysu New Shuttle train was taken to Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan station, which is adjacent to The Railway Museum Omiya.

Exhibited were 1 2-4-0T (VF 614/71) which on 14 Oct 1872, hauled the first passenger train in Japan from Shimbashi to Yokohama on 3'-6" gauge track which had been constructed by Edmund Morel, a British engineer. It has been suggested that he used that gauge based upon his previous experience in constructing Cape Gauge railways in New Zealand. 1292 ZENKO 0-6-0T (MW 815/81), 2 BENKEI 2-6-0 (Porter 369/80) which hauled the first train on Hokkaido on 28 Nov 1882 on the Horonai Railway. 9856 0-6-6-0 4cyl cpd (Hens-/12), C51-5 4-6-2 (Haman 5/20), C57-135 (Mit 285/40) which worked the last steam passenger train in Japan on 14 Dec 1975. DD13-1 Bo-Bo ( --/58), ED17-1 Bo-Bo (EEC/DK/NB 534/24), ED40-10 Bo-Bo rack loco (Omiya -/21), EF58-89 2-C-C-2 (Hit -/56), EF66-11 Bo-Bo-Bo (Kaw -/68), ED75-775 Bo-Bo (--/75), 61-10 Bo-Bo ERC (- -/14), 41-307 Bo-Bo DRC (--/34), 400-74 Bo-Bo ERC (--36), 454-4 Bo-Bo ERC, 455-1 Bo-Bo ERC (--/65), 481-26 Bo-Bo ERC (--65), 181-45 Bo-Bo ERC (--/65) and 222-35 Bo-Bo ERC (--/82).

Mounted on the wall outside of the museum was the front end of D51-426. On returning to Yokohama, a taxi was taken to the ship via Honmoku Shimin Park in which D51-516 2-8-2 (Omiya 29/40) was plinthed.

Onboard the ship we found that a second more severe typhoon was heading towards Japan, and as a result the cruise schedule had been scrapped and we would sail to avoid it. Instead of a full day in Kobe, we were to dock at 2:00pm, which only gave us three hours of daylight.

09/10/2014 After arriving in Kobe, a taxi was taken to D51-1072 2-8-2 (NipShar 1238/44), one of the wartime batch, which is plinthed near the station. A JR train was the taken to Kyoto, and then another to Saga Arashiyama. Adjacent to the station entrance is the19th Century Hall SL and Piano Museum.

Plinthed outside was D51-51 2-8-2 (Kaw 1809/37), one of the early batch with a continuous casing behind the chimney. Inside were C56-98 2-6-0 (NipShar 497/37), C58-48 2-6-2 (Kaw 2029/38) and No.1 0-4-0T (---). The front end of D51-603 was also displayed.

On returning to Kyoto, a visit was made to the main attraction on the trip, Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum, which is based in the 1914 roundhouse. Eight of the twenty locomotives were kept in working order* and used either on the short museum track or on main line excursions.

On view were 8630 2-6-0 (KisSeiz -/14), in service on the 1km. museum track. 1 YOSHITSUNE 2-6-0 (Porter 368/80)* which was to be steamed the following day as part of the centenary celebrations of the opening of the roundhouse, 1080 4-4-2T JGR 1926 rebuild of 651 4-4-0 (D 4166/01), 9633 2-8-0 (Kaw 142/14), B20-10 0-4-0T (Tat -/46)*, C11-64 2-6-4T (Kaw 1532/35), C51-239 4-6-2 (KisSeiz 936/27), C53-45 4-6-2 (KisSeiz 1040/28) the only 3 cyl type in Japan, C55-1 4-6-2 (Kaw 1538/24), C56-160 2-6-0 (Kaw 2099/39)*, C57-1 4-6-2 (Kaw1769/38)*, C58-1 2-6-2 (KisSeiz 1578/38), C59-164 4-6-2 (Hit -/46), C61-2 4-6-4 (Mit 641/47)*, C62-1 4-6-4 (Hit 1921/48), 62-2 4-6-4 (Hit 1930/48)*, D50-140 2-8-2 (Hit 199/25), D51-1 2-8-2 (Kaw 1643/36), D51-200 2-8-2 (JNR 25/38)*, D52-468 2-8-2 (Mit 502/46), EF66-35 Bo-Bo-Bo (Kaw -/-), DD51-756 B-2-B (--/-) and DE10-1156 C-B (--/-).

Building work was taking place to enlarge the museum in order to incorporate the contents of Osaka Museum which closed on 6 April 2014, and to incorporate more modern facilities in which the working steam locomotives could be maintained. None of the Osaka rolling stock had arrived at the time of the visit. It was becoming dark as we walked back to the station through Umekoji Park adjacent to the railway in which five tramcars were preserved.

10/10/2014 A full day in Osaka had been inserted in the revised schedule. This was to our advantage as we could visit Suita electric locomotive depot and check out Osaka Museum site, which we had to pass, to see if any locomotives were still there.

Osaka Museum of Modern Transportation was located next to JR Bentencho Station. Some of the exhibits had been moved, those remaining were: 233 2-4-2T (KisSeiz 11/03), D51-2 2-8-2 (Kaw 1644/36), C62-26 4-6-4 (Kaw 3159/48) and 81-3 Bo-Bo DRC (--/60), the first express railcar constructed in Japan. Suita Depot Modern electric classes are gradually replacing the surviving members of class EF66, the majority of which are based there. On view were 3xEF65, 5xEF66, 1xEF81, 2xEF200, 6xEF210and 3xEF510. A trip on Osaka Subway to Osaka Castle found C58-66 2-6-2 (Kaw 2077/39), enclosed in a glass case inside the Osaka Castle Park Café. The remainder of the cruise was spent at sea avoiding the typhoon, as a result potential sightings of C51-85 4-6-2 at Kagoshima, C57-100 4-6-2 Nagasaki and MK3-304 2-8-2 at Jeju,

South Korea were missed. Arrival back at Yokohama was delayed by one day, Travelbag rearranged our flights, at no inconvenience to us. Japan is a very tidy country, there are no litter bins, people take home their litter. Everyone was extremely polite, and so orderly in queuing for trains. Transport costs were not expensive, nor was food in shops; although meals in restaurants did seem more expensive than in GB. Overall we had a very good trip and experienced a healthy cross section of Japanese Railways both past and present.

 

8620 2-6-0 (KisSeiz 119/14)
at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 

9608 2-8-0 (Kaw 81/13) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 

 
110 2-4-0T (YE 164/71) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 


 
 
ED16-1 2-Bo-Bo-2 (Mit 106/31) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 


 
 
C11-1 2-6-4T (KisSeiz 1174/32) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 
 
D51-452 2-8-2 (KisSeiz 1871/41) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

 
 
D51-452 2-8-2 (KisSeiz 1871/41) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF
40-054 Bo-Bo ERC (TanShar -/32) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF
5540 4-4-0 (BP 3911/97) at Ome Railway Park on 26/09/2014 HF

C50-75 2-6-0 (KAW 1333/29) at Tokyo Kitashikahama Park on 27/09/2014 HF
Tobu Rly 5 4-4-0 (4028/98) which hauled the first passenger train, at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 CC
Tobu Rly 5 Bo-Bo ERC (NipShar-/24), one of the first electric railcars on the railway, at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 CC
Tobu Rly 101 Bo-Bo E (Dick Kerr/EEC 741/28), the first electric locomotive on the railway, at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 HF
Tobu Rly 5701 Bo-Bo ERC(KisSeiz-/51), the first limited stop ERC purchased by the railway, at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 HF
Tobu Rly ED 5015 Bo-Bo E (Hit-/59) at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 HF
Tobu Rly 1720 Bo-Bo ERC (-/60) at Tobu Museum of Transport & Culture on 27/09/2014 HF
Tobu Rly 207 EMU on a Northern Kanto Express at Higashi Mukojima on 27/09/2014 CC
8722 4-6-0 (KisSeiz 109/14) believed to be the sole surviving 4-6-0 in Japan at Kushiro on 29/09/2014 HF
C58-106 2-6-2 (KisSeiz 1664/38) at Kushiro Saiwaicho Park on 29/09/2014 HF
SZD D51-22 2-8-2 shown plinthed off Lenin Square, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin Island Russia on 01/10/2014 CP
SZD D51-22 2-8-2 cabside with Soviet cast iron plate, plinthed off Lenin Square, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Sakhalin Island, Russia on 01/10/2014 CP
D51-286 2-8-2 ( Kaw 2192/39) near Hokkaido Winery, Otaru on 02/10/2014 HF
D51-286 2-8-2 ( Kaw 2192/39) near Hokkaido Winery, Otaru on 02/10/2014 HF
59614 2-8-0 (Kaw 713/21) near Hokkaido Winery, Otaru on 02/10/2014 HF
6 SHIZUKA 2-6-0 (Porter 672/84) at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 HF
CADG 3 2-6-0 (Porter 4514/09) oil fired in steam at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 HF
C12-6 2-6-2T (KisSeiz -/33) at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 HF
ED76-509 Bo-2-Bo at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 HF
C55-50 4-6-2 (KisSeiz 1438/37) at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 HF
DD16-17 Bo-Bo DE at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
DD13-611 B-B DH at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
DE10-503 C-B DH at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
DD51-615 B-2-B DH at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
82-1 Bo-Bo DRC (NipShar-/61) at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
30 2-6-0 (Tem-/95) at Otaru Railway Museum on 02/10/2014 CC
783-104 EMU at Hakodate on 03/10/2014 CC
40-1804 DRC at Hakodate on 03/10/2014 CC
E751-1 EMU at Aomori on 05/10/2014 CC
Class 485 EMU at Aomori on 05/10/2014 HF
Class HBE 301 Hybrid RC at Aomori on 05/10/2014 CC
1 2-4-0T (VF 614/71) which hauled the first passenger train in Japan, at The Railway Museum Omiya on 08/10/2014 HF
1292 ZENKO 0-6-0ST (MW 815/81) at The Railway Museum Omiya on 08/10/2014 HF
9856 0-6-6-0 4cyl cpd (Hens-/12) at The Railway Museum Omiya on 08/10/2014 HF
2 BENKEI (Porter 369/80) which hauled the first train on Hokkaido at The Railway Museum Omiya on 08/10/2014 HF
 
ED17-1 Bo-Bo E (EEC/DK/NB 534/24) at The Railway Museum Omiya on 08/10/2014 HF
 
 
C57-135 4-6-2 (Mit 285/40) which hauled the last steam passenger train in Japan, at The Railway Museum Omiya 08/10/2014 HF
 
 
41-307 DRC (-/34) at the Railway Museum Omiya 08/10/2014 HF
 
 
C51-5 4-6-2 (Haman 5/20) at The Railway Museum Omiya 08/10/2014 CC
 
 
D51-516 2-8-2 (JNR 29/40) at Yokohama Honmoku Shimin Park on 08/10/2014 HF
 
 
D51-1072 2-8-2 (NipShar 1238/44) a wartime variation, near Kobe Station on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
C58-48 2-8-2 (Kaw 2029/38) in 19th Century Hall, Saga Arashiyama on 09/10/2014 CC
 
 
Industrial 1 0-4-0T in 19th Century Hall, Saga Arashiyama on 09/10/2014 CC
 
 
Loco lineup C56-98, D51-603 and C58-48 in 19th Century Hall, Saga Arashiyama on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
D51-51 2-8-2 (Kaw 1809/37) outside of 19th Century Hall, Saga Arashiyama on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
286-1 EMU passing through Saga Arashiyama Station on 09/10/2014 CC
 
 
8630 2-6-0 (KisSeiz -/14) in steam at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
EF66-35 Bo-Bo-Bo (Kaw -/-) at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
9633 2-8-0 (Kaw 142/14) at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
B20-10 0-4-0T (Tat-/46) at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
1080 4-4-2T (JGR -/26), rebuild of 651 4-4-0 (D 4166/01) at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
8630 2-6-0 (KisSeiz -/14) in steam at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
111-5706 EMU at Kyoto Station on 09/10/2014 HF
 
 
200-124 EMU at Bentencho Station on 10/09/2014 CC
 
 
EF510-2 Bo-Bo-Bo at Osaka Suita depot on 10/10/2014 CC
 
 
EF510-2 Bo-Bo-Bo at Osaka Suita depot on 10/10/2014 CC
 
 
Loco lineup EF210-139, EF66-104 and EF66-132 at Osaka Suita Depot on 10/10/2014 HF
 
 
EF210-139 Bo-Bo-Bo at Osaka Suita Depot on 10/10/2014 HF
 
 
EF66-132 Bo-Bo-Bo at Osaka Suita Depot on10/10/2014 HF
 
 
C58-66 2-6-2 (Kaw 2077/39) inside a glass case, inside Osaka Castle Park Café on 10/10/2014 HF