Click to download Tribute to His Majesty PDF

The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket Travel
The Phuket News Arts | Community | Culture | Dining | Education | Entertainment | Environment | Health | People | Technology | Travel XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

A gourmet rail journey on Kyushu's Orange line

I’d heard a lot about the Hisatsu Orange Railway in Kyushu (Japan’s third largest island) and I was really looking forward to a unique, world-class experience. I knew that the train was often fully booked, sometimes a year in advance, and reservations for the small but popular railway along Japan’s Kyushu West Coast were extremely difficult to come by. A good sign that this was truly a great railway journey in the making. Ja

Thursday 3 November 2016, 08:00AM


Andrew J. Wood

Japan’s rail system is legendary, the smooth, almost silent Shinkansens(bullet trains) that whisk you effortlessly along at 250 kilometres-per-hour or more, are testament to the importance of rail travel in Japan.

The Hisatsu Orange Railway stops at 28 stations between Yatsushiro in Kumamoto prefecture and Sendai in Kagoshima prefecture, a distance of 117 kilometres along the coastline of Kyushu. But unlike the Shinkansenthat travels straight and fast as a bullet, the Orange Railway takes a slow and winding scenic route, with many stops along the way.

The word Hisatsuin Hisatsu Orange Railway is derived from the first kanji characters of the words Higoand Satsuma, the former names of Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures, respectively. Orange Railway comes from the area through which the trains run. It is a region famous for producing unique varieties of citrus fruits such as Banpeiyu, Bon-Tan, Ama-Natsu, Dekopon, Satsuma Mikan, and Kumquat.

The Orange Railway is a private enterprise set up in 2004. The railway’s shareholders include Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures (regional governments) and various towns and cities along its route. It has a very strong focus on being a local railway for the people with a real drive to develop tourism and local gastronomy.

On board, with lunch in the Orange Restaurant, the journey takes approximately four delicious hours. For me this was heavenly. Lots to see and do and lots of new tastes. Even plenty of new drinks for me to try.

On the train ride you can enjoy the spectacular coastline that borders the East China Sea as well as take in the wonderful views as you traverse through the citrus fruit farmlands which gives the railway it’s name.

We were told that during the journey we would make a number of stops at various stations and we will be presented with gifts. To receive these we needed to bring along our special gift vouchers that were beautifully presented, along with our boarding passes, at the start of our journey.

United Services Phuket

The gifts in many cases turned out to be local food items, many of them being made at the stations at which we stopped. This is the beauty of a gourmet railway journey.

We were treated to an array of absolutely delicious items, my favourites were Hinagu chikuwas(a kind of BBQ soft fish paste made into a roll); locally brewed beers and fruit juices; curry pan (a delicious deep fried, breaded beef curry samosa), and in Minamata, Cremia soft ice cream (famous throughout Japan).

As well as the treats we were also able to enjoy a very fine lunch in the Orange Restaurant, utilising produce sourced from local communities. This was a perfect example of CSR, how larger corporate businesses can make responsible choices to support smaller local industries, in a caring and sustainable way.

Rail travel is not all things to all men. For me I enjoy the luxury of kicking back, relaxing and letting the journey and the day unfurl. Fortunately, this time around, with no deadline or time sensitive appointments at the other end. Unlike car and air travel, I could thoroughly enjoy the journey with very few do’s and don’ts to restrict my movement or social interaction. I could chat with my fellow passengers or not, I could walk around or not, I could take pictures or not, or just read... or not.

The idea of taking a nap never really occurred to me, I was much too interested in the journey and the views outside. It was more a case of carpe diem – seize the day! The choice and space was mine and it was bigger than just a seat. It was a delightful journey and I didn’t want it to end.


About the author: Andrew J. Wood is a travel writer and a regular university guest lecturer. A long time resident of Thailand, Andrew is a former hotelier and a Director of Worldwide Destinations Asia Co. Ltd., as well as the Immediate Past President of Skal International Thailand.

 

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


No charges over Aussie tourist injured in Patong parasail plunge

I highly doubt that the harness failed. In all likelihood the whole sail came down (in a hurry). I've seen it many times at this time of year. Whe...(Read More)


Phuket police mount horses for tourists’ safety

Wow, these dudes must be well "trained", but hey, why do they need someone holding the ponies? Mmmm, stirrups not adjusted correctly, feet ...(Read More)


Phuket police mount horses for tourists’ safety

I do hope the police are issued with a pooper scooper, otherwise the beach goers will be walking or lying in big balls of digested grass? Great idea ...(Read More)


Dhammajayo ‘won’t get bail’

Kurt: I have tried to refrain from replying to this load of nonsense, but feel i have to say something. I note no one else has commented, maybe like m...(Read More)


Phuket to launch ‘Drink Don’t Drive’ campaign

Do they also require resident farang volunteers and if so where do we apply for Chalong, Rawai and Nai Harn areas which are prone to drunk drivers....(Read More)


Phuket to launch ‘Drink Don’t Drive’ campaign

Will they be targeting Farung or Thai's? Beware, some bad Thai police target farung because they can then lock them up, tell them they won'...(Read More)


Phuket to launch ‘Drink Don’t Drive’ campaign

What a good statement.........::: The Thai Health Promotion Foundation believes that by enforcing traffic laws and also promoting road safety is th...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: No more beating about the bush

In my opinion comments are entertaining, case in point Joe 12, jokers like this make it so....(Read More)


B22.4mn erosion protection project underway at Phuket’s Karon Beach

Rorii...you need glasses. The photos clearly show reinforced concrete blocks with keyed construction joints and keyed anchors - an engineering system ...(Read More)


Army hunts down Phuket taxi driver for refusing airport tourist passenger

Timothy. Unfortunately I could not find any video to watch, but the article seemed to infer that she had agreed a B7oo charge. Also seemed odd to argu...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2016 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.