The Tadami Line is a remote little train track that runs between Koide in Niigata Prefecture over to Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. Part of the track was damaged in 2011 so if you are intending to travel the full length you have to a bit of the journey on a replacement bus.
The train line runs through some little hamlets with tiny stations and then heads out into the mountains, through gorges and along an impressive river. It is stunning scenery no matter what they season, and it has long been on our hit-list for fall color viewing. Unfortunately the day we went was a bit overcast and rainy, but that did not stop it being one of the most picturesque train journeys we have been on. It also didn’t deter legions of photographers who we could see from the train enjoying the spectacular views in many places.
The train line winds through the valleys, past waterfalls while darting in and out of tunnels which makes for an interesting viewing experience. At certain points you can’t see too much but then you round a corner, or emerge out of the dark to have an amazing view suddenly open up in front of you. Cue gasping and shutter-clicking from other train tourists!
We took the train to Tadami Station which is the first stop in Fukushima (and where you would board the bus if you were heading further), and then had a stroll around the town, complete with tiny ski resort, quaint shrine, and a steam engine on display. We were also rather delighted to find that mutton is a local speciality so loaded up on that to take home! The train back to Koide was late afternoon and luckily we managed to have enough light to enjoy the fall colors all over again on the return leg. We’ll be heading back to do the full journey over to Aizuwakamatsu another day…..