I visited Japan in October 2017, and one of the destinations was Kagoshima in southwestern Kyushu. I found Kagoshima itself as a city to be nice but nothing special but its proximity to wonderful nature made it a suitable location for a four night base camp. Due to the weather being mostly below average (there was a typhoon passing by) , some of my plans were scrapped, but one of the things I wanted to do was to travel in the mountains by train, along the JR Hisatsu line from the Kirishima mountains in the south to Kumamoto in the north, and so I did. Going in a counter clockwise direction, the trip took the entire day and involved four trains of which three were scenic trains through beautiful nature, running at a leasurely pace with onboard attendants. For someone that usually shys away from tour groups I found the scenic trains to be surprisingly convenient. Not only did they sell coffee and lunchboxes, they also stopped for 10-15 minutes at a lot of the stations a long the way, allowing for a bit of photography. The last train was the Shinkansen train back to Kagoshima from Kumamoto, which did not offer much scenery at all since it was mostly tunnels.
These photos are all taken by a train buff from a station visit point of view (with a limited time window), rather than from a mountain hiker’s point of view. But the Kirishima mountains, as seen in the distance in the first photo, were left unexplored this trip so someday I might go back with a pair of hiking boots and explore by foot. Someday.
All photos were shot on Kodak Portra 800 film and was developed and scanned by Canadian Film Lab.