Flower Nagai Line

The Flower Nagai Line (フラワー長井線, Furawā-Nagai-sen) is a Japanese railway line in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It connects Akayu Station in Nanyō to Arato Station in Shirataka.

Flower Nagai Line
A Flower Nagai Line train at Akayu terminal in December 2006
LocaleYamagata Prefecture
Operator(s)Yamagata Railway
Line length30.5 km (19.0 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Route map
0.0 Akayu
0.9 Nanyō-Shiyakusho
3.0 Miyauchi
4.4 Orihata
6.8 Ringō
Mogami River
10.3 Nishi-Ōtsuka
JR East:Yonesaka Line
12.2 Imaizumi
Shirakawa River
Shirakawa Signal Stop
JR East:Yonesaka Line
14.9 Tokiniwa
17.3 Minami-Nagai
18.3 Nagai
19.1 Ayame-Kōen
21.0 Uzen-Narita
23.2 Shirousagi
24.6 Koguwa
27.9 Ayukai
28.6 Shikinosato
Mogami River
30.5 Arato

The Flower Nagai Line is the only line operated by the third sector Yamagata Railway Company (山形鉄道, Yamagata Tetsudō), which took over the former JR East line in 1988.

In 2005, Yamagata Railway was in danger of having to shut down due to low patronage, leaving many residents, especially the young and old, without a mode of transportation from their farms. The only option available to the company was to try to attract more tourists to the scenic views. Lone train operator, Tatsuo Asakura, working without the knowledge of his superiors increased out-of-town passengers from 350 in 2005 to 7,000 in 2006, and in September 2008 had entertained more than 20,000 tourists with his uplifting guided tours, spoken in local dialect.[1]


Six single-car diesel multiple units (YR-880 Series) serve the line, running from Akayu to Arato once every one to two hours.

Rolling Stock

YR-880 Series

Eight single-car diesel multiple units were built by Niigata Transys in 1988 and 1990 for the Flower Nagai Line, using the Niigata Transys NDC model. Six units exist as of 2018. One unit, YR-881 has been scrapped in 2003, and YR-885 had been scrapped in 2015.

MCR4A Series

A snow blower car manufactured by Niigata Transys. One unit has been manufactured.


Station list

All stations are located in Yamagata Prefecture.

Station Japanese Distance
Transfers Location
Akayu 赤湯 0.0 Yamagata Shinkansen, Ōu Main Line Nan'yō
Nan'yō-Shiyakusho 南陽市役所 0.9
Miyauchi 宮内 3.0
Orihata おりはた 4.4
Ringō 梨郷 6.8
Nishi-Ōtsuka 西大塚 10.3 Kawanishi, Higashiokitama District
Imaizumi 今泉 12.2 Yonesaka Line Nagai
Tokiniwa 時庭 14.9
Minami-Nagai 南長井 17.3
Nagai 長井 18.3
Ayame-Kōen あやめ公園 19.1
Uzen-Narita 羽前成田 21.0
Shirousagi 白兎 23.2
Koguwa 蚕桑 24.6 Shirataka, Nishiokitama District
Ayukai 鮎貝 27.9
Shikinosato 四季の郷 28.6
Arato 荒砥 30.5


  1. Judit Kawaguchi (September 9, 2008). "Words to Live By - Tatsuo Asakura". The Japan Times Online.
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