Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 51 (Back cover)

New Japanese Railway Scenery 11
Nikko Station

Chikuhi Line

The 68.3-km (passenger-km) Chikuhi Line was opened by the private Kitakyushu Railway in 1923 to connect Meinohama Station in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, with Imari Station in Saga Prefecture. It was nationalized in 1937 when some stations were renamed and other stations and sections closed. 1983 saw electrification, opening of new stations, and closing of stations between Hakata and Meinohama following the opening of Fukuoka City Subway. Freight operations were also stopped. The line became part of JR Kyushu at the 1987 Japanese National Railways privatization and division.

Imari and Arita Porcelain

Imari City and Arita Town in western Saga Prefecture are famous for porcelain dating back to the early 1600s when a Korean potter is said to have started making porcelain near Arita. Products were shipped from Imari Port, so Arita porcelain earned the name Imari porcelain. There are four styles—Early Imari, Kakiemon, Kinrande, and Nabeshima—each with its own features. The photo shows a Kakiemon-style Iroe-kachomon-zara (dish with design of a bird and flowers in overglaze polychrome enamels) made between 1670 and 1690 in what is now Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures.
Photo: Series 103 running on Chikuhi Line (JR Kyushu)
Photo: Iroe-kachomon-zara (The Kyushu Ceramic Museum)