As a matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say that I often find myself enjoying train journeys as much as the time spent at the destinations they take me! And if you're this way inclined too, chances are high that you will love travelling on the Hida Limited Express train service between Nagoya and Takayama (aka Hida Takayama) the way that I did.
Also known as the "Wide View Hida", the train's carriages have extra large windows that allows one great views of the scenic countryside one passes through, especially the leg of the journey between Mino-Ota and Takayama. I spent pretty much all of the two and a half hour journey from Nagoya to Takayama looking out of the window (and yes, I made sure to get a window seat for this particular train ride) and did the same again on the journey back to Nagoya from Takayama five days later. And after seeing the following photo-essay, I trust that you'll understand why this was the case...
Sometimes, there's a road between the train track and the often
fast moving Hidagawa (Hida River); other times not!
The train travels through several tunnels burrowed through hills
and mountains, and so do the cars travelling along the road
connecting the mountainous Hida region to the neighboring lowlands
Both the train line and the river pass through
the hot springs resort town of Gero Onsen
Even on a gray day, I found the passing views often stunning!
On the return trip, the sun was out and really brightened things up!
Many of the towns the train passed by seemed like model communities
-- and I sure do hope that's indeed the case :)
Rice fields and Shinto shrines are regular
and pleasing sights in rural Japan
One of a number of dams along the Hidagawa that's been
rather fancifully described as the Rhine of Japan :)