Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 30 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 23
JR Shikoku: Tokushima Line

Westbound two-car DMU limited express on JR Shikoku's Tokushima Line near Anabuki Station. The eastern half of the line was opened in 1900 as the private Tokushima Railway, but was nationalized in 1907 and reached Awa Ikeda in 1914. The 75-km single track between Tokushima and Awa Ikeda runs along the Yoshinogawa valley, one of Japan's largest rivers. The narrow flood plain had rich fields of indigo, but the invention of substitute chemical dyes in Europe hit the indigo farmers severely in the early 20th century. The line suffers from low traffic except for commuters near Tokushima City, but JR Shikoku runs six daily limited expresses in each direction.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)