This Shinrin Tetsudou railroad was developed from the early 20th century in the Chugei region in the eastern part of Kochi Prefecture. The region produced Yanase cedar, a superb timber. It also served as the local transport network until 1963. The Yanase Shinrin Tetsudou railroad used to be the largest in western Japan, and huge quantities of beautiful Yanase Japanese cedar wood was transported on these tracks. It connected people as well, serving as many children’s main routes to school. Eventually, the railway was closed with the changing of the times. There are still some remains of it dotting the area, retaining their original appearance. To replace the forestry industry, yuzu fruit trees were planted in old railroad areas and large-scale cultivation began. The growers maintained organic cultivation methods from the olden days as they increased production area over the years. They now boast Japan’s largest production of yuzu and even export overseas in addition to contributing to Japan’s food culture. Yuzu Road, which gives a good view of the yuzu orchards, was recognized as a Japan Heritage site by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2017. From a mountain forest railway to Yuzu Road: the lives of Kochi’s people are woven through this story and are now recognized as an integral part of Japan’s heritage.
*Yanase Shinrin Tetsudou
Address:Yanese,Umaji Village,Aki Gun Access: ●About 2 hours by car from Nankoku Exit on the Kochi Expressway. ●Take a train from Kochi Station on the Gomen-Nahari Line to Aki Station. Take a Kochi Tobu Kotsu Bus from Aki Station going to Yanase or Umaji. Tell the driver you want to get off in front of Shinrin Tetsudo, Yanase Maruyama Koen and they will stop there. *Free travel area.