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Kyushu, Japan – May 2023

I usually take a much more direct path when visiting Miyazaki, but this time I wanted to see the eastern coast of Kyushu. I also wanted to check out the Hard-Offs in Oita and Miyazaki, so what better way than by rail!? I actually happened to purchase some new-old-stock PC98 and X68000 games!


I took the 4pm Shinaksen from Shin-Osaka Station to Kokura, transferring to the southbound Sonic. The first layover was the Tabist Hotel Smart Sleeps just north of Oita Station.

There's a great craft-beer standing-bar just outside the entrance of the elevator to the hotel. Anyway, the next day the goal was to chase the southbound freight to Minami-Nobeoka, so I got to Oita Station in time to snoop around.

The southbound was on-time, but early by my expectations.

It turns out it arrives and halts in the station whilst the express trains pass it. I'd booked myself onto one of those express trains to get in front of the freight, to be able to see it again.

These poor-old 787s are now relegated to limited express services on the lesser lines. They used to be the main vehicle when getting to Kagoshima, but the shinkansen has since taken all the glory. Anyway, the train makes light-work of the rails through to Nobeoka and the trip is extremely scenic.

Don't forget to also inspect the train, and the hints to its past life.

Note that this southbound freigther has to stop a LOT. So if you do have time, bounce around on the express trains (or even the locals!) and you'll be able to catch it more than once.


There's a path in the timetable showing that this train continues to Minami-Nobeoka with loading after shunting here. Unfortunately, after the comedy of errors that was Engaru, I realised that codes starting with 8000 are 'as required' and that this Minami-Noeboka freight path has NOT been used in a long time. Fortunately, this train did come in to Nobeoka Yard...

A cute little yard shunter then did all the hard work.

Being a Saturday, there was a 787-series scheduled to come through on a tour train. This is the 36+3 Around The Kyushuu (love that name!), timetabled to stop in the platform for half an hour so that the passengers can sample the local specialities!

I actually stayed the night in Nobeoka as there was yet another tour train to catch the next morning. The Seven Stars Kyushu was also scheduled for a stopover, but quite early!

They kicked it over and it was off before-long. I then continued southbound to Miyazaki.

Note that, on the way, you'll pass a concrete viaduct. This is actually the first maglev test-track in Japan. Now being used for solar panels.


Such a beautiful area of Japan. I always love visiting this place, and I do admit that a lodging on the railway line helps!

Nango Station is currently painted for an honorary baseball team. There's no teams in the area, so they support Seibu Saitama Lions.

The next day was spent on a trip up to the Takachiho Railway... but that needs a post by itself.

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