Monday, June 12, 2017

Turtle Rock on the Gomen-Nahari Line

Diesel rail-car Tosa-Kuroshio Type 9640 arrives at Tano Station on the Gomen-Nahari Line

Cape Muroto was known as a dangerous spot for sea voyage in the old days. It is located in the eastern part of Kochi Prefecture, about 700 km southwest of Tokyo. The geology of the cape is quite interesting. We can see the beautiful sandstone and shale beds, which was deposited in the deep sea about 16 million years ago. It, then, uplifted and emerged thousands of years ago. When I visited Cape Muroto last year, I found a unique rock in the form of a turtle. The disturbance of its geological beds was caused by submarine landslides soon after deposition of the beds.

To get to Cape Muroto, I took the Gomen-Nahari Line of Tosa-Kuroshio Railway, and got off at Nahari terminal. Subsequently, I used bus services from Nahari to Cape Muroto. It took a total of two hours and a half from Kochi, the main city of Kochi Prefecture, to Cape Muroto.

The Gomen-Nahari Line was opened in 2002. Connecting Gomen on the JR Shikoku Dosan Line and Nahari in the eastern part of the prefecture, the total length is 42.7km. The track is non-electrified, single and elevated. A lovely diesel rail-car, the 9640 series, is operated every half an hour during the daytime. So far, a total of 11 cars have been built by Fuji Heavy Industries and Niigata Transys. It has a 450 ps engine and its maximum speed is 110 km per hour.

I enjoyed the unique geology and the railway travel to Cape Muroto.

"Turtle Rock" at Cape Muroto, Kochi Prefecture