The Japanese have a love affair with trains, especially the ones that trundle through the more picturesque parts of the country. One sure way to draw tourists to your rural prefecture is an ancient steam locomotive that chugs through a pretty middle-of-nowhere. For many visitors, it’s not the destination, but the train journey.
The long-running Tora-san (1969-1996) and “Tsuribaka Nisshi” (“Diary of a Fishing Fool,” 1988-2009) series visited a different, often remote, part of Japan in each episode (though given its piscatorial theme, “Tsuribaka,” didn’t spend a lot of screen time up in the mountains). Fans enjoyed these perambulations, whether by train or not.