“Iyonada Monogatari”

An Illustrated Guide to Train Journey’s Trains

Between Matsuyama and Iyo-Ozu/Yawatahama

Sightseeing train on the Yosan Line that runs along the Seto Inland Sea and the Hiji River

A sightseeing train that traverses the warm and welcoming Iyo Sea route (between Iyo City and Iyo-Ozu on the Yosan Line and around the Seto Inland Sea) that offers views of the pristine scenery of the Seto Inland Sea, “Iyonada Monogatari” connects Matsuyama Station with Iyo-Ozu Station and Yawatahama Station. This two-car train was designed with three concepts in mind: “retro-modern,” “appeal of the sea,” and “leisurely time.” Car No. 1 on the side of the train facing Yawatahama is called “Chapter Akane” after the color “akane,” or madder red, that is reminiscent of sunsets at the Iyo Sea. Car No. 2 on the side of the train facing Matsuyama is called “Chapter Kogane” for its “kogane,” or gold, color intended to express the brilliance of the sun and citrus fruits. The interior of these cars, which contain seating placed so that passengers can fully enjoy the scenery outside, incorporates a modern design that strikes a balance between Japanese and Western sensibilities, giving passengers a relaxed, comfortable space to spend their journey in.

In addition to specially-prepared meals that are available on all “Iyonada Monogatari” trains with advance reservations, passengers can enjoy a variety of drinks, snacks and other items sold in the trains as well as various events and other activities conducted with the help of municipalities along the Yosan Line. Moreover, each of the four “Iyonada Monogatari” trains has been given a name based on the part of the Yosan Line it covers. The two trains leaving Matsuyama are dubbed “the Ozu Part” and “the Yawatahama Part.” Likewise, the two trains heading for Matsuyama are named “the Futami Part” and “the Dogo Part.”

Exterior of train cars

The exterior of Car No. 1 on the side of the train facing Yawatahama and Car No. 2 on the side of the train facing Matsuyama has been given a coat of madder red and gold paint, respectively. The design of the train as a whole was conceived with the sun, a sunset and citrus fruits in mind.

Inside of Car No. 1

This car contains three types of seating: observation seats on the side facing the sea, face-to-face seats for two on the side facing the mountains, and box seats for four in the car’s corners. The box seats incorporate Japanese-style chairs.

Inside of Car No. 2

This car contains the same three types of seating as Car No. 1. Its design consists of a harmony of Japanese and Western sensibilities. The windows of the car were conceived with paper sliding doors from Japanese-style architecture in mind.

Dining bar

The side of Car No. 2 facing the coupling with Car No. 1 hosts a dining bar. Meals served in the “Iyonada Monogatari” are prepared at this counter. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase here as well.

Specially-prepared meals

On this train, specially-prepared means that passengers can reserve in advance are served through an alliance with restaurants and other establishments on the Yosan Line. The box lunch in the photo above (image representation) is from the restaurant “Karari,” and is served on “the Futami Part.”

Welcoming from Yosan Line locals

Passengers will receive a warm welcoming from locals on the Yosan Line. In the photo above, locals use banners to welcome passengers from Ozu Castle.

Taking a Journey on the Yosan Line with the “Iyonada Monogatari”

Futami Seaside Park

This park was chosen for being the site of one of Japan’s top 100 sunsets. With attractions such as “Cape Lovers,” the “Sunset Pavilion,” the “Wishing Store” and the “Bell of Happiness,” this spot is a popular place for couples to visit.

JR Shimonada Station

This station, which overlooks the Iyo Sea, was also used in a poster for JR’s “Railway Seishun 18 Ticket” campaign. It used to be the closest station to the ocean until the sea side of the station was reclaimed to build a highway.

Garyu Sanso

This mountain villa with an area of nearly 10,000m2 overlooks Garyu Depth, the sole scenic spot on the Hiji River basin. Points of interest include the villa’s garden formed with borrowed scenery taken from the nature of Mount Kagara and the Hiji River, as well as the “Garyu-In Main Wing,” the “Perennial Youth Tea Room,” and the “Knowledge Stop Tea Room.”

Ozu Castle

The symbol of a castle town that prospered as a political and economic hub in the Iyo Ozu Domain. The majestic castle keep, which overlooks a lakeside of the Hiji River, was reconstructed in 2004.

Yawatahama Minatto

A complex that houses the “Minato Exchange Center,” which provides sightseeing information; the “Doya Market” (shown in photo), which offers fresh sea delights at low prices; “Agora Marché,” where local specialty goods and other items can be purchased; and more.


“Jakoten” are made by mincing small fresh fish that can be caught in the Uwa Sea, bones, skin and all, and frying the resulting paste in oil. Well-liked as a local dish and specialty good of the Nanyo Region of Ehime Prefecture.

Text by: Yoshiyuki Kekke
Photos courtesy of: Kotsu Shimbun Service
*Data contained above is as of December 2015.