Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 15 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 8
JR Kyushu: Hohi Main Line

This two-car DMU train is negotiating a steep gradient on Hohi Trunk Line, near Tateno Station at the western foot of Mt. Aso in Kyushu. Mt. Aso is one of the largest volcanoes in the world with a huge bowl-shaped caldera measuring 27 km from north to south and 17 km from east to west. It contains an active volcano called Naka-dake (1592 m). The caldera is inhabited and the grass-covered slopes are used for cattle farming. Although the majority of visitors to Mt. Aso use road transport today, there are some tourist express trains on the 148-km-long Hohi Trunk Line linking the Aso caldera to Kumamoto on the western coast, and to Oita and Beppu on the eastern coast.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)