Train Review: JR Amakusa Misumi Line Local 536D from Misumi to Kumamoto by Train (KiHa 220 Series)

Amakusa Misumi Line Local from Misumi to Kumamoto Train Review

After a Champon lunch at Misumi, it was time to head back to Kumamoto so as to keep to my schedule to take a round around Northern Kyushu. The Amakusa Misumi Line is a scenic coastal and inland line operating in Uto and Uki in Kumamoto. With the schedule I had in Misumi, I was able to take another train set on the line, hopefully for a different experience.

Misumi Station

The façade of Misumi Station.

Heading in to Misumi Station.

The concourse of Misumi Station, with ticketing facilities, seats for waiting, and vending machines selling drinks.

Tickets can be purchased from the vending machine or the manned ticket counter, which also doubles up as the manned gate to the platform.

The timetable of the Amakusa Misumi Line from Misumi Station.

A more complete timetable is available behind the ticket counter. The A-Train timings are highlighted.

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.

I headed in to the platform early to use the toilet first and to take photos of the incoming train. To enter the platform, I showed my JR Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Area Pass to the station staff behind the counter.

The single side platform of Misumi Station.

The station sign of Misumi Station.

Toilets are located in a side building on the platform.

My train is formed of a 2-car JR Kyushu Kiha 220 DMU.

The interior of the Kiha 220 DMU. Certainly a newer look than my previous KiHa 147 DMU.

A numbered ticket machine is available by the train doors. This need not be used at Misumi as ticketing facilities are available. The numbered ticket machine is for passengers alighting at intermediate stations and paying on board by cash.

The sea side of the train has transverse seats which can be flipped to the direction of travel. The flipping is done by the driver as he heads over to the other end of the train.

The land side of the train has longitudinal seats which face towards the sea.

There are some booth seats by the toilet end.

An open space is also available as a viewing spot or to cater for passengers in wheelchairs.

The toilet is big for the convenience of universal accessibility. A vast improvement from my previous KiHa 147 DMU toilet.

The 2-car KiHa 220 DMU formation is made up of 2 single cars, with a door allowing for walkthrough.

The legroom on board the KiHa 220 DMU.

The window sill has a wooden ledge to place drinks on.

The route map on board the KiHa 220 DMU features the Amakusa Misumi Line, Kagoshima Line, Hohi Line, and a short stump of the Nagasaki Line. Perhaps this is for operational flexibility.

The driver’s cab is only on 1 side, allowing for an easier peek out the front.

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.

My Amakusa Misumi Line Local 536D train departed from Misumi Station on time at 1.41pm, with the station staff on the platform bowing to passengers on board the train.

Notices on the door denote the door opening patterns at manned and unmanned stations.

Hataura Station

Making a brief stop at Hataura Station.

While the windows are certainly cleaner than my previous train ride, the blue tint on the windows make the scenery look darker than it actually is.

Ishiuchi Dam Station

Making a brief stop at Ishiuchi Dam Station.

Akase Station

Making a brief stop at Akase Station.

The Amakusa Misumi Line heads to the coast here.

Ōda Station

Making a brief stop at Ōda Station.

Higo-Nagahama Station

Making a brief stop at Higo-Nagahama Station.

Some seaside scenery from the front of the train.

Sumiyoshi Station

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

Making a brief stop at Sumiyoshi Station.

Midorikawa Station

Making a brief stop at Midorikawa Station.

Meeting with the Kagoshima Main Line and Kyushu Shinkansen.

Uto Station

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

Tomiai Station

Making a brief stop at Tomiai Station.

Crossing over the Midorikawa River.

Kawashiri Station

Making a brief stop at Kawashiri Station.

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

Heading up to the elevated sector.

Nishi-Kumamoto Station

Making a brief stop at Nishi-Kumamoto Station.

Crossing over the Shirakawa River.

Kumamoto Station

My Amakusa Misumi Line Local 536D arrived at Kumamoto Station on time at 2.33pm.

Heading down the escalator out of the platform.

The local line concourse at Kumamoto Station.

My next train, the Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu) 3, will be departing from Platform 2.

With less than 20 minutes to go, I headed straight up to Platform 2 to board my Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu) 3 early.

Conclusion

The KiHa 220 DMU was a more comfortable ride than the previous KiHa 147 DMU, with air-conditioning and modern seats. The windows were a little bit too tinted for my liking, making this afternoon journey look like post-sunset through the windows. The starting experience at Misumi Station was great with a quaint end-of-the-line station to relax for a few minutes in, and a friendly station staff to greet passengers and get more line information.

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