Chikuhi-sen (Karatsu – Imari)   筑肥線 (唐津 ー 伊万里)

Originally, this line was part of the through line from Fukuoka via Karatsu to the port town of Imari in northwest Kyûshû, famous for the porcelain produced in the region and exported from here to Europe particularly from the mid-17th to the mid-18th century. From Imari the railway line continued along Imari Bay to Japan's westernmost station facing the island of Hirado, and from there down to Sasebo and Nagasaki. In 1988 this line from Imari westward became a private local railway, and its physical connection to JR was severed in 2002.

Largescale restructuring of the railway network around Karatsu in 1983 led to major changes: The old East Karatsu station on the right side of the Karatsu estuary, which had been a switchback station for through trains from Fukuoka to Imari, was given up and replaced by a new elevated line from the east into Karatsu itself. At the same time, the whole section through from Fukuoka (Meinohama station) to Karatsu and on to Nishi Karatsu (West Karatsu) was electrified. Since then, the diesel trains to Imari start at Nishi Karatsu and run down the Karatsu-sen as far as Yamamoto, from where they branch off to Imari. From Yamamoto they pass through the mountains and serve small farming communities before reaching Imari. The Imari section itself (opened in 1935) is 25, 7 km long, to which come 9, 6 km on the Karatsu-sen from Nishi Karatsu to Yamamoto. A stopping service is provided about every two to three hours.

The name of the line, Chikuhi-sen, refers to the two old provinces of Chikuzen (written 筑前), the western part of modern Fukuoka Prefecture, and Hizen (written 肥前), present-day Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures, a central town being the traditional port of Imari. Together, the characters 筑 and 肥 are read "Chikuhi".

Imari station through the fence of the overbridge. Diesel cars class 125 nos. 8 and 9 have arrived from Karatsu. (2016)

Diesel car class 125 no.1 on a rainy day at Yamamoto. (1999)

South of Yamamoto the Imari-sen and the Karatsu-sen run side by side along the Matsuura River. The picture is taken from an Imari-sen train, which will cross over the Karatsu-sen ahead and then branch off to the right towards Imari. (2019)

The line to Imari at Nishi Ôchi. (2016)

Diesel car class 125 no.1 on the east side of the line. (1999)

Diesel car KIHA 125 no.9 in the mirror at Ôkawano station. (2016)

Hizen Nagano, on a train from Imari. (2016)

From the train on the centre part of the line near Momonokawa. (2019)

Farm houses seen from the train between Momonokawa and Kanaishihara. (2019)