Kitto-sen 吉都線

A train leaving Takaharu for Yoshimatsu. Diesel cars KIHA 40 2068 + KIHA 147 50. (2013)

View from the train near Nishi Kobayashi. (2013)

This line is 61,6 km long and runs along the north-eastern slope of the Kirishima volcanic mountain range. The countryside is rural and enjoys a good deal of rain, which gives it a deep green colour throughout most of the year. The Kitto-sen branches off to the east at Yoshimatsu, and when it was built in 1912/13 it formed the main line from there via Miyakonojô down to the city of Miyazaki. After the Nippô Honsen through from Miyazaki to Miyakonojô and on to Hayato was completed in 1932, the Kitto-sen became the connecting line between the towns of Yoshimatsu and Miyakonojô, located 150 metres above sea level on the plateau between the Pacific Ocean in the east and the Bay of Kagoshima in the west.

As the Kitto-sen passes through the Ebino valley it is also called Ebino Kôgen-sen (the line through the Ebino plateau). The running of freight trains ceased in 1987, and services were suspended for a time in 2011 when the eruption of the Shin Moedake volcano damaged the line. Today the Kitto-sen sees several stopping trains in the morning and evening, with three services in both directions during the day.

The line takes its name from characters that form elements of the names of the two terminals, namely Yoshimatsu 吉松 and Miyakonojô 都城 . The two characters 吉 and 都 read together are pronounced "Kitto".

View from the train near Hyûga Maeda. (2013)

KIHA 147 50 + KIHA 40 2068 enterning Takaharu station. (2013)