How to get there
First, take the Shinkansen to Shizuoka city ; it takes 1 hour by train from Tokyo.
From there it will take you an additional 30 minutes: take the JR Tokaido Main line to Kanaya station, then from Kanaya station take the Oigawa Railway to get to Shin-kanaya station.
You’ll see the locomotive on the tracks waiting for you to begin your journey!
Kanaya is famous for its green tea. It was the season for newly harvested tea, so there was a free Kayana tea service in front of the station. Kanaya tea has a sweet and refreshing taste.
In front of the station, you can find the ‘plaza loco’ where you can buy some souvenirs and ekiben (lunch boxes to eat on the train).
This area is a reproduction of Kanaya’s station and platform around the mid 1970s.
Time travel !
After enjoying all of what Shin-Kanaya station had to offer, I realized that it was already time to board. I got on the ”SL Kawane 1” train at 11：52. The train interior looked so retro and nostalgic, that I felt like I was back in the early Showa period! While eating my ekiben, the train whistled to depart and the station staff waved at us as they sent us off. Here we go…
After a short while, the train staff came to welcome the passengers. This type of SL (C56, No.44) I rode today used to run in Hokkaido, but was transferred to Thailand during the Pacific War. Most of them were damaged during the war, but this SL was miraculously saved and returned to Japan.
One of the train’s staff members entertained us by playing the harmonica.
The train offers great views on the famous Shizuoka area tea fields. Along the way many people were waving at us.
You can also purchase things on the train. Some dorayaki (a kind of Japanese pancake) with a wheel emblem branded on the surface are available for purchase. We were very surprised because they have almost three or four times more anko (red bean paste) that the usual dorayaki, but they didn’t taste too sweet.
Senzu, the final stop
After an hour and twenty-minutes, we arrived at the final stop of our journey, Senzu station.
The SL that brought me here was being reloaded with coal for its return trip.
We were welcomed by “Thomas” locomotives on the platform. These locomotives only run from June to October! I took a photo with Thomas the train. I have loved it since I was a child. Children love to ride them during the summer holiday!
The trip doesn’t end here
From Senzu station, there are many more things to see. There are several onsen (hot spring) available around the small city, that you can reach by bus. You can also board another train to go further in nature and discover breathtaking sights:
- – To learn how to visit the ‘bridge of dreams’ click here
- – To see our onsen recommendation in the area click here
- – To see our lodging recommendation in the area click here
- – To see the breathtaking views of Oku-Ooi, click here
2 Chome-1112-2 Kanayaazuma Shimada-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture