Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Evisceration of Rural Japan part 1


Yesterday the last train ran along the Sanko Line stopping one more time at my local station. It was one of the prettiest train lines in Japan, winding 90k up the Gonokawa River to Miyoshi. I took it regularly downstream to Gotsu, and several times a year I took the first train in the morning up to Miyoshi and then on down to Hiroshima. It has been replaced with a bus service, at 130% increase in price.


It has been no fun though for the past year or so since they announced it's closure. Extra carriages were put on to cater to the crowds who wanted to ride the train that was going to disappear, an the last few weeks it has been like a Tokyo commuter train with barely any standing room.


Somebody told me that they had read in the local paper that it was the foreign shareholders that caused the closure, but a quick check online reveals that less than 15% of the shares are held by foreign entities. Blaming foreigners is a tradional part of Japanese culture. At the station there were outsiders and locals waiting to see the last train. Special tickets at 4,000 yen a pop had sold out long ago. Everyone was handed flags and as the train approached a megaphone barked out "Stand up!..... Wave!!!"..... shades of North Korea......... 

3 comments:

  1. Alas...the doom is everywhere.

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  2. This is the train we took back to Hiroshima after the week in Shimane, and yes, it's a beautiful ride. "Progress" this is called.

    ReplyDelete

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