Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

Last stop on a Japan mountain railroad 井川駅 – softypapa adventures

This is the last station on the Ōigawa Railway in central Japan. This remote mountain railroad supports two lines: the Ōigawa Main Line (大井川本線) and the Ikawa Line (井川線). This is Ikawa Station (井川駅). At an elevation of 636 meters (2,087 ft) this station is the highest in Shizuoka prefecture. The Ikawa line is the only rack railway in Japan utilizing a special toothed third rail on which cog wheels run to give the train extra traction on steep mountain grades. You can see the extra rail in the highlight box near the start of this video (0:19 mark). This line is famous for its continued operation of steam locomotive service. The Ōigawa Railway is often featured in Japanese movies and TV shows. This region was famous for gold mining during the Japanese feudal era. I sometimes find abandoned gold mines while exploring in the rugged surrounding mountains. If you come here you can take a ferry boat across the lake to the nearby community of Ikawa. Ikawa is the last town and gateway to the alpine regions of the Japan Southern Alps.

softypapa spapaWelcome to the softypapa blog. My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have chosen to walk awhile with me. I’m available on Facebook and Google+ if you have questions or just want to chat and say hi. I can also be found at the JVLOG forum with other Japan-related content creators. All links are listed below. I look forward to meeting you on-line. Have a great day!


The Path of WildnessThe Path of Wildness is easy to find
The course of a stream
Leaves blown in the wind
A beast’s track through the brush
And the direction of our first inclination

The Path of Wildness is an answer and response to a prescribed way of life which may leave some individuals with a sense that their living is little more than a series of pre-determined, step-like episodes between birth and death. The stages of living between these events: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood and senior are themselves natural and in accord with the needs of the species and most individuals. Many find their satisfaction in living this course and to these individuals I have little or nothing to say. Others though long for something more; something innate, genetic and seemingly calling. Adventure and change can give a degree of satisfaction and relief yet even these may seem too tame. To those who feel drawn to something beyond the entertainment and stimulation of senses I offer a walk along The Path of Wildness. Don’t bother penciling the event in your schedule, preparing a pack with goodies and supplies or even inviting a friend along, for this experience is along the course of your first inclination and you must surely always go alone.

The Path of Wildness Resources


Follow me on Twitter:

Be my friend on Facebook:

On Google+

At the JVLOG forum (my username there is “LylesBrother”):

You can also reach me via email at the following address: softypapa@gmail.com



“Japanese Falls” image included in this video is by the artist Lane Brown. See more of Mr. Brown’s work at the following URL:

Channel Theme Music “Song For Kurt” used with permission by Nowherians. Discover more about the artist and their music at the URL below. Be sure to check out their “Rome Pays Off” recordings.

Channel homepage image “Leaf” by photographer Moyan Brenn.
See more of Mr. Brenn’s photos on Flickr at the link below.

Walking in Japan softypapa torii image


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