20 April, 2011

The Movie "Hankyu Densha"

  Hankyu Densha, a novel written by Hiro Arikawa, was made into a movie. Hankyu Densha, or the Hankyu Railway, runs through Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe, but this story takes place on the Imazu Line, a very short line that connects Takarazuka Station and Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station in about fifteen minutes.

Hankyu Railway Imazu Line

 The unique, maroon-colored Hankyu train is known for its retro-style and nostalgic atmosphere. This heart-warming story takes place on one of these trains. The story is about different passengers who ride this train, and how their lives start to change on this short, 15 minute train ride. I personally use the Imazu Line fairly often, but nowadays, thanks to the novel, I can’t help but wonder about the lives of other people on the train. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are thinking the same thing!

Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station During Filming

  The Imazu Line has the North Line, on which the story takes place, and South Line. They are connected by Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station, which has a large, popular shopping mall nearby. There’s also the Hyogo Performing Arts Center, which hosts orchestra concerts and many other events. This popular station also has stylish bars and restaurants nearby, making it a go-to place for people of all ages.
  Along the Imazu Line, there are other places that are unique to the area. For example, Takarazuka Station is right by the famous Takarazuka Grand Theater. The Takarazuka Revue is performed by an all-female troupe that attracts fans from all across the country. In Takarazuka, there’s also the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum, a museum dedicated to the most influential anime artist in Japan.

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum          Hyogo Performing Arts Center

Information about Takarazuka Revue:

  There are many cafes and interesting stores along the Imazu Line, so you’ll have a great time no matter which station you get off at.

  The train is an extremely important transportation system for many Japanese, therefore even the smallest train station and its surroundings are a big part of people’s lives.
But for many foreign travelers, this is a bit difficult to understand, since they tend to travel on the bullet trains or the special rapid trains and only see major train stations.
So on your next visit to Hyogo, I recommend taking your time and catching local trains, getting off at smaller stations, and exploring around the station.
  You never know who you’re going to meet or what you’re going to discover, like the movie Hankyu Densha.