Travel to scenic Japan: Oito Line complete shooting spot guide

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目次

About Oito line

Location of Oito line

Ohito line is located in the central japan. It runs through the mountainous area, northern Japanese alps, and you can enjoy fantastic scenery. It runs between Matsumoto city and Itoigawa city. Southern part  is electrified and northern part is not, and there is no direct train which connects both terminals. The boundary between electrified and non-electrified section is Minami-Otari station. In non-electrified section, only a few trains runs.

Location of Minami-Otari station wihch devides Oito line into 2 parts

It takes about 2.5~3.0 hours form Tokyo to Matsumoto by Shinkansen train. 

Required time and money from Tokyo to Matsumoto

Oito line shooting spots

I visited Oito line many times between 2003 and 2009. At that time, very old type diesel cars KIHA52 was still running in this area, and were very popular among railway enthusiasts.

Diesel car KIHA52

Now all the KIHA52 were disused, and now new type KIHA120 are running.

KIHA120 diesel car. For Oito line, color is a bit different.

In this article, I’ll introduce Oito line shooting spots. It has been almost 10 years since I last visited there, so I find out the current situation of each spot with Google Maps, and attach the result.

Between Azumi Kutsukake station and Shinano Tokiwa station (1 of 2)

This place is famous among railway fan. You can find many examples in the Web.

If you go up the slope to route 147, you’ll look down the train.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

Daytime

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

 

Between Azumi Kutsukake station and Shinano Tokiwa station (2 of 2)

It’s just a bit north of the location above.

You can catch the side view of the train that runs along the mountain.

This sample was taken in the evening, and direct sunlight didn’t reach the side of the train and mountains. But in the morning, it will.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

morning.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Shinano Moriue station and Hakuba Oike station

This is also a popular place to shoot. You can use the ski slopes as a background.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

morning.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Minami Otari station and Nakatsuchi station (1 of 5)

This spot is located in JR West area, and not electrified. The sample photo was taken on a snowy day, but even without snow, the scenery is beautiful.

At this spot, train heads to north, and no direct sunlight on the front face of the vehicle. If you don’t like this, it may better to shoot on a cloudy day.

Please be careful not to disturb the neighborhood because there are a lot of houses with narrow roads in this vicinity.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

Afternoon only for vehicle’s side.

Vehicle’s front is backlit  all day.

(Therefore, morning is reccomennded.)

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Minami Otari station and Nakatsuchi station (2 of 5)

The sample photo was taken from the dry riverbed. With sunlight and snow on the ground, the round shape mountain looks very pretty.

In such a scene, KIHA52‘s redish color is impressive.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s, but overgrown grass may obstruct the view.

Recommended hours for better lighting

Direct sunlight reaches all day, but in winter, dry riverbed gets dark after 14:00 because neighboring mountains block the sunlight. 

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Minami Otari station and Nakatsuchi station (3 of 5)

There are string of my favorite shooting spots around here.

From this spot, you’ll overlook above mentioned shooting spot 1 of 5.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

The view has not changed so much, but overgrown roadside grass may obstruct.

Recommended hours for better lighting

Afternoon only for vehicle’s side.

Vehicle’s front is backlit  all day.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Minami Otari station and Nakatsuchi station (4 of 5)

Still we are on the way to Nakatsuchi station.

If the snow is piled up and the weather is good, you can enjoy a view of  a train looks like climbing mountains.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

Google Street View

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

daytime ~ sunset

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Minami Otari station and Nakatsuchi station (5 of 5)

Here, you can enjoy a view of a train crossing the river.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Street View

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

You can see the bridge between pillars.

Recommended hours for better lighting

Direct sunlight reaches during daytime, but in winter, it gets dark early afternoon.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Nakatsuchi station and Kita Otari station (1 of 4)

We finally passed Nakatsuchi station.

If all the conditions are satisfied, the view you get is stunning, but it is not easy.

The conditions, enough snow to cover the ground, sunlight, and clear reflection on the water (Mizukagami) are difficult to be satisfied at the same time. I tried 4 or 5 times to get  the view shown below.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Street View

In the street View, overgrown grass may obstruct the view. But if I remember right, you can view a train from dry riverbank.

Recommended hours for better lighting

morning

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Nakatsuchi station and Kita Otari station (2 of 4)

You can overlook a train running at the bottom of the valley with mountains.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Street View

When I took the photo, the road was still under construction, but It seems that now the road is complete. you can see the railroad from sidewalk.

Recommended hours for better lighting

All day, but the road may block sunlight in the morning.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Nakatsuchi station and Kita Otari station (3 of 4)

As far as I now, this cherry blossom tree was one of the best match with Oito line diesel cars.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

See the image from the above link. The place indicated by the pointer is the place where cherry blossom tree sit. It looks like the tree has been removed.

Recommended hours for better lighting

daytime

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Nakatsuchi station and Kita Otari station (4 of 4)

We almost reach Kita Otari station.

We are looking back the cherry blossom tree of previously introduced spot.

From here, you can get the image looks like a train running through uninhabited area.

 

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

It is order light all day except early morning. The front of the train is backlit all day.

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

I guess it was taken from the home of Kita Otari station, but not sure.

Between Kita Otari station and  Hiraiwa station

Take a side road to Climb the hill a bit to reach the spot.

The scenery has changed a little by the widening of the road.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Street View

You can see the widened national road,but it is not clear from Street View whether the rail track looks as before.

But because I do not think they don’t let trees grow freely along the rail track. So it’s highly likely that you can see the track from the spot.

Recommended hours for better lighting

daytime

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Kita Otari station and  Hiraiwa station

The photo is taken from a parking zone, and very easy to access. But the train looks like running in a very remote area.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It seems like current view is no different from the sample’s.

Recommended hours for better lighting

morning

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Nechi station

Trains were exchanging at Nechi station.

There are three exchanges at 10 o’clock, 15 o’clock, and 17 o’clock at Nechi station.

Large Yarn Line Location

A diagram of a large yarn line.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps

It is a pattern that has not changed almost at that time.

Recommended hours for better lighting

all day

Map

See above link.

Between Nechi station and  Kubikiono station

Shoot the train just comes out of the tunnel.

A snow-capped Alps in the upper right adds spice to the image.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

Google Street View

View is almost same as before.

Recommended hours for better lighting

afternoon

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Kubikiono station and Himekawa station

You’ll enjoy simple but beautiful image.

Around the spot, it doesn’t snow so much, and melt soon.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Maps 3d image

It hasn’t changed at all.

Recommended hours for better lighting

afternoon

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Between Himekawa station and Itoigawa terminal

A local train running in front of a Cement factory, my favorite combination.

Check the current situation by Google Maps

Google Street View

Judging from the image, some new trees have appeared. It seems difficult to get a image without obstructions.

Recommended hours for better lighting

morning

Map

Google Maps

The arrow means lens direction

Thank you for reading my article.

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