The Mizuma Railway

offer visitors a quaint way to ride the rails.

Take the Mizuma Railway, a Local Line in Southern Osaka, to a Remote and Quiet Place

Take a trip on the Mizuma Railway and visit tourist attractions along the way. The railway, which usually has two or three inbound and outbound trains every hour, was laid along the pilgrimage route between Kaizuka and Mizuma Kannon and is a local line that runs leisurely in the suburbs. It takes 15 minutes to the final stop, and you can experience the sights of passing through the narrow spaces between residential areas while cherishing the nostalgic scenery of Japan.

Face to Face with Japan’s First All-Stainless Steel Train Carriage

Railway enthusiasts love the 7000 series, pictured here.

The Mizuma Railway initially started in 1925 along the 5.5 kilometer pilgrimage route between Kaizuka City and Mizumadera Temple. It allowed easy access to the temple for a higher number of pilgrims. It is also famous for the use of Japan’s first entirely stainless steel train carriages inherited from the Tokyu Corporation in Tokyo. If you look closely, some of the handlebars still display the paraphernalia of the former train company the carriages previously served. The service is operated as a “one-man” train, which only has a driver on board. In fact, the majority of the stations do not have operational ticket barriers. Unlike automated ticket gates in cities like Tokyo, it requires passengers to obtain a paper ticket with a number upon entry of the train using a machine by the door. The fares are displayed on a board, and upon exiting by the front doors where the driver is located, passengers pay the amount listed.


Train enthusiasts from all over Japan make the journey to the end of the line at Mizumakannon Station to catch a glimpse of the rare stainless steel 7000 series parked in the nearby garage. Lucky individuals may also be granted permission to get up close and personal to take photographs, though entry into the carriages is not permitted. All of the carriages currently in service are part of the stainless steel 1000 series. Key characteristics of the 7000 series include the lack of a skirt (the item fitted onto the lower part of a train), and a lack of cooler on the top of the train, both different from the 1000 series.

The Journey on the Railway

Verdant rice fields alongside the tracks of the Mizuma Railway.

The route was once mostly run for the purpose of taking pilgrims to Mizumadera Temple, but now is popular among local residents along the route, as it offers a convenient connection to the Nankai Main Line for Osaka City. The carriages are usually packed with commuters during rush hour, so it is best to find alternative times when it is quieter to enjoy the journey.


Purchase a ticket at Kaizuka Station before boarding the train. The journey to the final stop takes 15 minutes, though there are plenty of stops in between that are worth visiting. Stop off at Sechigo Station and head to Tanaka no Ichigo for a fun day of strawberry picking, which are in season from early January to early June (reservation required). Then, try relaxing in a Japanese hot spring bath (onsen) at Sechigo no Yu or Misasa no Yu, both within walking distance of the station. For those who want even more fruit picking, alight at Mikayamaguchi Station for Yabu Orchard and Ikawa Mikan Orchard, where visitors can enjoy mikan (a Japanese citrus similar to a clementine) picking. The season runs from mid-October to the beginning of December, and a reservation is required. Zenbei Land is also located near this station, for stargazers who are able to catch a glimpse of the night sky through a large telescope free of charge.

The station was constructed in the late Taisho era (1912-1926) to look like the entrance to Mizumadera Temple.

The final stop at Mizumakannon Station is the gateway to Mizumadera Temple. The platform is decorated with 1,000 hanging moss balls (kokedama). According to the president of the railroad, the moss embodies several ideas; earnest hard work, not seeking luxury, maintaining beauty, and protecting the railroad. Exit the station and look out for a pair of unusual statues made from mud. These are statues of 16 children called “Yakuyoke Juroku Douji,” who drive away evil spirits, and the troll-like creatures called wakidoshi that followed them. Legend has it that these children led Gyoki Bosatsu, a high priest, to the statue of Bodhisattva, the principal image at Mizumadera Temple. The statues represent mythical creatures, with depictions of children guiding visitors  to the temple. They were built by individuals with a wide range of disabilities through the support of the Higashiyama Independence Center and Day Center Sennan. Keep an eye out for them as they may be hard to spot!

You can really feel the emotions of the statues!

The temple itself is home to a statue of the Buddhist deity Kannon, the bodhisattva of mercy. The temple was constructed between 729-749, but was destroyed in a fire in 1585. The current main worship hall was constructed in 1811. It is considered to be the fourth holiest site on the Western Japan Pilgrimage route, and is also listed on several other pilgrimage routes passing through the area. Be sure to visit Aizendo near the temple, a lover’s sanctuary where young people go to pray for continued success in love.

The arched Yakuyoke Bridge and sacred Kannon statue of Mizumadera Temple.

It takes about 15 minutes to reach Kaizuka Station on the Nankai Main Line from Kansai Airport, or 30 minutes from Namba Station. Exit the main concourse and turn right, head down the escalators, and you’ll find it tucked away on the right hand side of the entrance of the Mizuma Railway. One-day passes offering unlimited rides can be purchased for ¥600, or a pass covering both trains and local buses served by Mizuma Testsudo Railway is available for ¥1,000. Trains generally run three times per hour in both directions. Once you have ridden the riddles, pay a visit to Okumizuma Onsen for a little rest and relaxation in the midst of nature, and some incredible cuisine!


For information on tours around Misaki, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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