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Hello, new member redavis here; just came back from Japan, and I'm in love with the Isumi line!


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Hello everyone, thank you for such a wonderful site. I found this forum on a google search as I was looking for like-minded individuals and enthusiasts in the English-speaking world. Like I said in the title, I've just returned a few months ago from a 6-week tour of Japan for the first time. When we arrived by plane, our first sightseeing trip was spending the day on the Kominato and Isumi lines in Chiba (KiHa 200's I believe); I'd seen them in a drama, and was struck by their beauty. . .the real experience did not disappoint!

The train museum in Saitama is another wonderful destination, with the full history of Japan's railroad development on display. With the possible exception of the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Michigan, it is one of the most fascinating collections of transportation that I've ever experienced. 


I do have a question for the moderator or members though, and I thought beginning at this forum might be as good a place as any to ask it: are there any opportunities for foreigners willing to spend some time in Japan in order to learn about the workings of Japan's vintage rural trains? I'm a retired automotive teacher at a technical college, and would love the chance to spend some time as a volunteer or student in Japan learning as much a I could about these wonderful relics of yesteryear. It seems that many of our available search engines here tend to downgrade less popular results, and thus far my search has come up empty. 


I know it is merely a wish at this point, but I sometimes dream of living in Chiba, and playing a part in keeping these wonderful icons of a simpler time operating so that future generations can enjoy them. One of my first observations I made to my son as we rode through the countryside is that it was almost like being in an anime cartoon; in this, I've since learned that the Japanese themselves say the same thing.


I'm looking forward to learning more about your site, and any guidance would be appreciated!


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Welcome Redavis, glad you found us. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!


some one here may have some ideas of how to contact some of the railroads with heritage trains. Not sure if they may be able to handle a foreign volunteer, language could be an issue.





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Thanks so much for the welcome everyone; is there a thread here that might be a good one to follow and contribute to that you might recommend?

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Yavaris Forge

I'd say just spend some time here and explore! I bet you'll find some topics that are of interest for you. I personally follow the "Prototype for Everything" and "What did the post deliver" topics, as well as some others.

I mostly use the "Unread Content" page though.

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