Ibusuki Makurazaki-sen  指宿枕崎線

The Ibusuki Makurazaki-sen is famous for having Japan's southernmost railway station at Nishi Ôyama. The non-electrified line runs from the city of Kagoshima along Kagoshima Bay down to the spa at Ibusuki, then surrounds the tip of the Satsuma Peninsula and follows the coastline to the north-west. Trains stop for a few minutes at Nishi Ôyama, in view of the arguably most beautiful mountain in Japan, the Kaimon volcano (924 m). Makurazaki is reached after 87, 8 km. From here, a local railway system used to work up and into the peninsula, meeting the Kagoshima Main Line at Ijûin, but it closed between 1965 and 1984.  

The line from Kagoshima to Yamakawa, one stop after Ibusuki, opened in the years 1930-1936, the continuation to Makurazaki between 1960 and 1963. At present a partial closure of the line is being discussed. Services from Kagoshima to Ibusuki include some express trains, while closer to Kagoshima the line sees quite heavy commuter traffic. However, only six trains a day regularly serve the end section between Yamakawa and Makurazaki.

Running alongside the Kagoshima tramline to the south of the city. Tram car 9502 has just passed on its way to Taniyama. (2018)

In the suburbs of Kagoshima a two-car diesel train (class 200, no.10) enters the station of Usuki. (2013)

On its way from Ibusuki the train descends into the city of Kagoshima near Sakanoue. In the background is Sakurajima volcano. (2018)

A two-car train (KIHA 47 9046 + KIHA 147 105) headed for Makurazaki waits at Goino, south of Kagoshima. (2018)

Along Kagoshima Bay near Sesekushi. (2018)

Looking inland at Nakamyô, between Kagoshima and Ibusuki. (2018)

Running along Kagoshima Bay the train passes near the Kiire crude oil storage terminal. Several oil tankers are usually to be seen in the region. (2018)

A semi-fast train from Ibusuki, headed by single unit diesel car KIHA 220-1102 at Maenohama. (2010)

Train set KIHA 47 9046 and KIHA 147 105 from Kagoshima at Nukumi, shortly before Ibusuki. (2018)

At Yamakawa station a two-car diesel train (headed by class 47 no.8057) returns to Kagoshima, while on the right another train (with class 47, no.8077 at the rear) will take passengers on to Makurazaki. (2010)

From the train between Yamakawa and Ôyama. (2010)

Mount Kaimon from the train, near Nishi Ôyama. (2018)

Kaimon volcano on the section from Yamakawa to Makurazaki. (2010)

At Japan's southernmost station: Diesel car KIHA 47 9075 at Nishi Ôyama, with Kaimon peak in the background. (2010)

Near Irino on a train returning to Yamakawa. (2010)

Looking inland near Goryô, between Yamakawa and Makurazaki. (2018)

Near Ishikaki, between Yamakawa and Makurazaki. The train has just passed Mount Kaimon, which can be faintly seen in the background. (2018)

The train runs through very dense vegetation between Yamakawa and Makurazaki. Here near Satsuma Itashiki, shortly before arriving at Makurazaki. (2018)

Makurazaki endstop with diesel car KIHA 47 9046. A sign post indicates the distance of 3099,5 km from here - Japan's sothernmost endstop - to Japan's northernmost endstop at Wakkanai. In the background is a sculpture commemorating the fish pedlars who used to live in this region. (2018)

A two-car train with KIHA 47 9098 in front at Makurazaki terminus. (2010)