Train Review: JR Amakusa Misumi Line Local 531D from Kumamoto to Misumi by Train (KiHa 147 Series)

Amakusa Misumi Line Local from Kumamoto to Misumi Train Review

The Amakusa Misumi Line is a scenic coastal and inland line operating in Uto and Uki in Kumamoto. I headed out to this former port line for a scenic train ride and to get lunch, while exploring the more local side of Kumamoto off the tourist path.

Kumamoto Station

The façade of Kumamoto Station.

Heading to the local line entrance at Kumamoto Station.

The next train to Misumi will be departing from Platform 5.

Heading up to Platform 5.

Platform 5 is a bay with 1 side platform, with a track beside Platform 4.

The island platform has Platform 6 for the full length, with Platforms 4 and 5 sharing the length.

The island platform here for Platforms 5 and 6 is also rather slim.

The next train will be a 2-car train.

I was pleased to see a JR Kyushu KiHa 147 DMU arriving. Alas, I will be taking a classic train on this local line.

Arriving passengers alight from the JR Kyushu KiHa 147 DMU.

The destination sign of the on the JR Kyushu KiHa 147 DMU.

The train car number is embossed on the side of the train car.

Boarding the JR Kyushu KiHa 147 DMU. There is a step up to the train level from the platform level.

The interior of the KiHa 147 DMU.

Most seats are laid out in facing bays of 4 seats, with a window in the middle.

The window view is not ideal, being dark and blur, showing the train’s age.

This KiHa 147 DMU set is made in 昭和 54 (Showa 54) or 1979, making it 44 years old at the time of my trip.

After the driver had readied the train, the screens above the driver’s cab switched on to display the fares. The Amakusa Misumi Line adopts one-man operation at rural stations along the line.

A toilet is available on board the KiHa 147 DMU.

This is a familiar sliding door which I have used on Blue Trains outside of Japan.

The toilet was a surprise to me, as it looks just like Blue Trains outside of Japan. The paint was peeling from the walls, and bits of toilet paper were strewn all over the floor.

The interior of the other car of the 2-car KiHa 147 DMU.

A machine by the door dispenses numbered tickets for passengers alighting at intermediate stations and paying on board by cash.

The front view of my KiHa 147 DMU.

The builder plate of the KiHa 147 DMU and year of manufacture.

While the windows were blurry, a benefit of riding on the KiHa 147 DMU is that the windows can be opened. With the cold temperature outside, this also brought some cold air on board the train.

My Amakusa Misumi Line Local departed from Kumamoto on time at 11.33am. This train will use the Kagoshima Main Line to Uto first before splitting off on to the Amakusa Misumi Line.

Heading on the flying junctions on the way down to ground level.

Passing by JR Freight Kyushu Southern Branch.

Crossing over the Shirakawa River.

Nishi-Kumamoto Station

Making a brief stop at Nishi-Kumamoto Station.

Running parallel with the Kyushu Shinkansen line.

Passing by more KiHa 147 DMUs at the sidings between Nishi-Kumamoto and Kawashiri.

Kawashiri Station

Making a brief stop at Kawashiri Station.

Heading under the Kyushu Shinkansen tracks.

Still running parallel to the Kyushu Shinkansen, but on the other side.

Crossing over the Midorikawa River.

Tomiai Station

Making a brief stop at Tomiai Station.

Level crossings are starting to appear.

Approaching Uto Station.

Uto Station

Making a brief stop at Uto Station. This is the junction station for the Amakusa Misumi Line from the Kagoshima Main Line.

Crossing over the Kagoshima Main Line to head on to the Amakusa Misumi Line.

Splitting away from the Kagoshima Main Line and Kyushu Shinkansen.

The single-track line now runs parallel with National Route 57.

Passing by very close to the road and neighbouring buildings.

Midorikawa Station

Making a brief stop at Midorikawa Station.

Sumiyoshi Station

Arriving at Sumiyoshi Station.

Crossing with an opposing Amakusa Misumi Line train at Sumiyoshi Station.

Making a brief stop at Sumiyoshi Station.

The Kumamoto-bound Amakusa Misumi Line train departed from Sumiyoshi Station first.

Departing from Sumiyoshi Station.

After Sumiyoshi Station, the Amakusa Misumi Line heads along the Okoshiki Coast, providing a scenic journey.

The National Route 57 runs along the coast as well.

Higo-Nagahama Station

Making a brief stop at Higo-Nagahama Station.

There is a hut on the platform offering some shelter from the wind, along with train service information.

Passing by some traditional houses.

More very local scenery along the way.

Ōda Station

Making a brief stop at Ōda Station.

The Misumi-bound platform features just a hut.

The proper station building is located on the Kumamoto-bound platform.

This part of the Okoshiki Coast has resting points for visitors to stop and appreciate the view.

Akase Station

Making a brief stop at Akase Station. The Amakusa Misumi Line heads inland here.

The station hut on the platform of Akase Station.

The exit out of Akase Station.

Heading through the Akase Tunnel.

Ishiuchi Dam Station

Making a brief stop at Ishiuchi Dam Station.

Hataura Station

Making a brief stop at Hataura Station.

Approaching water again, this time on the Motarenoseto Strait at Misumi.

Meeting with National Route 266 at Misumi.

Misumi Station

Arriving at Misumi Station.

The station staff bows to passengers arriving at Misumi Station.

My Amakusa Misumi Line Local train arrived at Misumi Station on time at 12.27pm, making this a journey of 54 minutes.

The end of the Amakusa Misumi Line after Misumi.

The platform at Misumi Station is comfortably wide.

Banners advertising the A-Train are on display at Misumi Station. Unfortunately, the A-Train was not in operation on the day of my visit, as it operates mainly on weekends and holidays only. The A-Train would have been covered by my JR Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Area Pass.

There are no automatic fare gates at Misumi Station, and tickets are checked by the station staff at the gate.

The main hall of Misumi Station.

A tourist information centre is also available at Misumi Station. However, as I was just here to complete riding on the Amakusa Misumi Line and to have lunch, I did not find out more information about the destination.

The courtyard of Misumi Station.

The façade of Misumi Station with a maritime-centric architecture.

Misumi Station is located just in front of Misumi East Port Square.

The Sea Pyramid is also located just here, in front of the Misumi Port Ferry Terminal. You can walk up the Sea Pyramid for free, both inside and outside.

The Sanko Bus Misumi Office is located diagonally across from Misumi Station for onward travel by bus.


The Amakusa Misumi Line is a scenic railway line to spend the late morning joyriding on. It was nice to get the KiHa 147 DMU at the start to ride on the old train, but it was certainly showing signs of its age with blur windows and dirty toilets. The station staff welcoming passengers to Misumi was a pleasant surprise, and the station architecture was a nice welcome too.

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