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Public Relations

A Glance at Nagareyama Through American Eyes (5/11/2024)

Hello, my name is Amanda, and I am the new Coordinator of International Relations for Nagareyama City Hall’s Nagareyama Honcho/Tone Unga Tourism Promotion Section, as of July 2023. I am originally from San Diego, California, which is known for its beaches and tacos. I hope to become a bridge that connects the cool sights and spots of Nagareyama to the rest of the world!

A Trip Back Through Time with the Ryutetsu Train Line

Hidden in the quiet town of Nagareyama, lies a little train line known as the Ryutetsu Nagareyama Line. Though it spans only about 5.7km, it plays a vital role of carrying passengers between Nagareyama and the neighboring town of Matsudo, which from there leads to Tokyo, to the rest of Japan. Having a long and rich history, the Ryutetsu has captured the hearts of the local population. 

The Ryutetsu first opened up in 1916 with the help of the locals in the area, and after over 100 years, it still carries passengers to this day. One of the best attributes of the Ryutetsu is that it still maintains its quaint, nostalgic charm from back in the 1960s to 80s, an aesthetic known as “Showa Retro” in Japan. The memories of the past are hidden within the vintage train station signs and clocks, the wooden planks and roofs of the stations, and of course the cute two-car trains of this historic train line. Passengers who walk onto the platform feel almost as though they accidentally stepped back in time to the Showa era. 

Believe it or not, the Japanese Showa Retro aesthetic has also made its way over to the United States, as well. If you look on social media, you can find videos using songs by Showa era City Pop idols like Miki Matsubara and Kaoru Akimoto as background music, and photos taken with Japanese film cameras to capture that retro Japan aesthetic. The moment I truly realized how much the Showa Retro movement had taken hold of pop culture in the U.S. however, was when I hopped into my friend’s (who doesn’t speak a word of Japanese) car, and a song by Akina Nakamori, another legendary pop singer from during this time, was playing on his car speakers. I of course was also among those who absolutely fell in love with the Showa era. 

When I first moved to Nagareyama, riding the Ryutetsu quickly became one of my favorite activities. When I’m standing out on the platform, it is always fun to guess which train out of the 5 brightly painted trains, either red, yellow, pink, orange, or green will come clattering down the tracks. After hopping on the train, though it is only a 12 minute ride, it is fun watching the daily life of Nagareyama from the train, as you pass by local shops, houses, and fields. Come aboard a train that has traveled through over 100 years of history!