The railway stretches for approximately 94 km (60miles) with 57 stations. The line serves the cities, towns in Nagasaki prefecture through the coastal areas and mountains.
The eastern end of the MR terminal is “Arita” (a famous town of porcelain). Another famous town of porcelain, “Imari” is not too far from Arita. Sometimes it may be a bit confusing to differentiate the Arita-yaki (Arita porcelain) and Imari-yaki (Imari porcelain). The truth is that both are the same. As the exportation of Arita-yaki was executed from Imari port, it is called, Imari-yaki, especially in foreign market.
Another attraction is the fact that MR used to have the westernmost station in Japan, “Tabira-Hirado”. Until Yui-railway (in Okinawa) started the operation in 2003, “Tabira-Hirado” used to be the westernmost station. Hirado is a must place to visit if you are into Japanese history. Before the Edo Shogunate officially closed the door to the outside of Japan back in the middle of the 17th century (National seclusion), Hirado used to be commercially vital spot as the international trading port with China, Portugal, The Netherlands etc.
If you take the MR from Imari or Arita, Sasebo is the last station welcoming you after approximately 2 and half hours of train ride. Sasebo is the second most populous city in Nagasaki prefecture after Nagasaki city. Sasebo is a naval port and the gateway to “Huis Ten Bosch”, the Europe-theme amusement park, (to be more specific, Netherlands). Among the B-graded gourmet fans, Sasebo is well known for “Sasebo Burger”. Interestingly, there is no definite style in Sasebo Burger. Here is the definition of it.
- The hand-made burger
- Cooking is started upon the order
It is believed that the occupation army taught how to cook a good burger when Sasebo got a booming in the 1950’s due to the surged demand for the Korean war.
If you have a chance to visit Nagasaki prefecture, taking MR to enjoy various pleasures is what I can recommend.