Access: From JR Shin-Hanamaki Station, take a 2-minute bus ride to Miyazawa Kenji Kinen-kan Bus Stop. To Harry Potter fans, it might even remind them of the Hogwarts’ Express. A native of Iwate Prefecture, Miyazawa Kenji hailed from the region of Hanamaki, and the SL Ginga plies the route between JR Hanamaki Station and JR Kamaishi Station. “Ginga” is ripe with Buddhist imagery and echoes of Miyazawa’s rural hometown in Iwate Prefecture, yet it seems to take place in Christian Italy. Why does Zanelli have to talk to me like that? In the Japanese, Miyazawa inundates a reader with not only images but also sounds: the sound of fumbling indistinctness (bon-yari), the sound of a faint or dulled glitter (peka-peka), the sound of haziness becoming clarity (ha-kiri), and one sound that simply puzzles and seems to mean nothing in particular (rin). Kenji Miyazawa’s untranslatable masterpiece. It’s hard to overstate Kenji Miyazawa’s significance and fame in Japanese culture. In Car 3, there is a showcase of Nambu ironware pots. It tells the tale of two young boys named Giovanni and Campanella, who find themselves aboard a train travelling through the cosmos. Strong’s translation is beautiful and not inaccurate, but does not capture this dimension of the text. The screenplay was written by Minoru Betsuyaku. She said that she focused on the feeling behind the piece. But before you go, here’s a budget hack: The pass is about ¥1,000 cheaper if you purchase it from travel agents. Being a huge fan of themed trains, I had always wanted to ride the SL Ginga, but never got to, as it does not run frequently. For me, this is definitely a must-see when riding the SL Ginga. Night on the Galactic Railroad is often described as slow, usually by Westerners used to rapid-fire Hollywood blockbusters. The fairy tale tells the story of a young boy traversing the galaxy on an enchanted railway, and along the way learning about true happiness and the meaning of life. The JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) offer incredible value for unlimited rides all over Eastern Japan. If you’re coming from Morioka, JR Shin-Hanamaki Station is only 10 minutes by bullet train on the Tohoku Shinkansen from JR Morioka Station. Tono is said to be the hometown of Japanese folklore, and is well-known for the legends of spirits and supernatural creatures originating in the area. Access: Free shuttle bus (20-minute ride) from JR Shin-Hanamaki Station for staying guests, or a 20-minute ride on a local bus from JR Hanamaki Station. The scene is full of onomatopoeia and sound effects that are quickly lost in translation. As you take in the atmosphere of the vintage-style booth seats covered in red velvet, complemented with metallic hardware and stained-glass style windows, you will be hit with a wave of nostalgia. This article was brought to you by JR East (East Japan Railway Company), and was originally published on JR Times. (銀河鉄道の夜), was published posthumously in 1934. Another popular souvenir from Iwate is nanbu senbei, which also has a limited-edition SL Ginga version. The plot might draw clear parallels to The Polar Express (and that's a subject worth exploring), but its agenda is much deeper. Giovanni’s errand to retrieve milk for his sick mother somehow finds him on a train to the heavens and back. And the entire novel is underscored by his nuanced concept of a Fourth Dimension, the daiyojigen (大四次元, lit. The film was released in North America by Central Park Media on October 9, 2001. A red carpet is rolled out in the middle of the aisle, providing a luxurious path to your seat. It is said that water boiled in Nambu ironware pots are extra delicious due to the iron and minerals that get released into the water. Running along the JR Kamaishi Line in Iwate Prefecture, the SL Ginga was restored from the C58 239 SL train, in order to revitalise the disaster-stricken region after the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The film's screenplay was written by Minoru Betsuyaku. Did you know? But Miyazawa lacks the fame, readership and scholarly emphasis in the West compared to authors of similar significance within Japan, like Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima. “For Kenji, the Fourth Dimension is a whole new axis — a way to jump to a higher plane,” he said. In 2020, the SL Ginga celebrates its 6th anniversary. You’re in for a special treat if you board the SL Ginga from the starting station of Hanamaki, or if you get off at Kamaishi Station on a Saturday. As souvenirs, I took this photo and bought some SL Ginga-themed keychains. “His popularity does not at all rub off in the US, despite translations of his poetry becoming widely available since the 1960s,” said Hoyt Long, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at the University of Chicago. Miyazawa’s fierce preoccupation with death is enough to defy the book’s common label as children’s literature. A good translation does the same. Tel: 6595 0600 Not just an author, Miyazawa was also a philosopher who incorporated his ideals into his works. Restoring it to a functional train still took considerable time, but thanks to the hard work of the crew, in April 2014 the train was reborn as the SL Ginga, making its debut to the delight of the local community. JTB The Miyazawa Kenji Fairy Tale Village is where you can get immersed in the world of Miyazawa’s fairy tales. “His vocabulary and style are really unique and original,” said Koji Toba, Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Waseda University. On that trip, they have various stops where they meet strange sights, even more unusual fellow passengers and learn some lessons of life on their trip to the terminus of the Galactic Railroad. Translating Kenji’s layered Mahayana Buddhist imagery makes translating. For a 251km round-trip, the SL Ginga consumes 34 tonnes of water and four tonnes of coal, more than it can carry. What is true happiness? His kindly friend, Campanella, … All over the train are mini galleries dedicated to Miyazawa Kenji and the Tohoku region. Along with his friend Campanella, he boards a magical train that soars into the depths of the Milky Way on its way to heaven. Editorial | Contribute your travel stories or submit In August 2019, I finally got to ride this much-loved train—my first ever SL train experience. “His sister died the year before [he started writing]. JR EAST PASS is offered by the East Japan Railway Company for tourists visiting Eastern Japan. Page 56. There are abundant roadblocks to translating Japanese literature of any kind. It certainly was to Sarah Strong, Professor Emeritus in Japanese Language and Literature at Bates College, who wrote a heavily annotated translation published in 1991. Taking inspiration from Miyazawa’s works, the train’s exterior is a deep galaxy blue emblazoned with stars and constellations. 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