Kesennuma Line

The Kesennuma Line (気仙沼線, Kesennuma-sen) is a local railway line in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It connected Maeyachi Station in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi to Kesennuma Station in the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi. The route links the north-eastern coast of Miyagi Prefecture, with the Ishinomaki Line (and the Tohoku Main Line a few stops farther) available for transfer in the south, and the Ōfunato Line in the north.

Kesennuma Line
North and southbound trains at Motoyoshi Station, April 2005
Native name気仙沼線
StatusIn operation
(Maeyachi - Yanaizu as a railway)
(Yanaizu - Kesennuma as a BRT route)
OwnerJR East
LocaleMiyagi Prefecture
TerminiMaeyachi Station
Kesennuma Station
Stations23 (Only 6 are railway stations following the 2011 disaster)
Operator(s)JR East
Rolling stockKiHa 110 series DMU, Hino Blue Ribbon City Bus
Opened11 February 1957
Closed1 April 2020 (Section between Yanaizu - Kesennuma was replaced by bus rapid transit in December 2012 but was only formally closed in 2020)
Line length72.8 km (45.2 mi) (Until 2011)
17.5 km (10.9 mi) (After 2011)
Number of tracksEntire line single tracked
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Operating speed85 km/h (53 mph)
Route map
JR Kesennuma Line linemap.svg

A large section of the railway infrastructure between Minami-Kesennuma Station and Rikuzen-Togura Station, including tracks, stations, and railway bridges, were badly damaged or completely destroyed by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Destroyed stations include Minami-Kesennuma (except for the platform)[1] and Shizugawa Station, as well as various others. As a result of the catastrophic damage to the line and prohibitive costs of restoration as a railway, JR East officially proposed the line's conversion into a dedicated bus rapid transit (BRT) route on 27 December 2011.[2] At present only the Maeyachi to Yanaizu section is operated as a railway, with services on the balance of the route provided by buses.


Although the Kesennuma Line's south end is Maeyachi, its operational south end should be considered Kogota Station in Misato, as the majority of Kesennuma Line trains either have Kogota as their south terminus or go through it on the way to Sendai. Trains going this far also stop at Kami-Wakuya (local only) and Wakuya Stations in Wakuya, Miyagi on the Ishinomaki Line.

Station listEdit

Greyed-out stations have been closed since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and operate only as bus stops for the JR East BRT route.

Station name Japanese Distance
from previous station
Distance from Maeyachi Local train BRT Transfers Location
Maeyachi 前谷地 - 0.0 Ishinomaki Line Ishinomaki, Miyagi
Wabuchi 和渕 3.2 3.2 |
Nonodake のの岳 3.0 6.2 | Wakuya, Miyagi
Rikuzen-Toyosato 陸前豊里 4.1 10.3 | Tome, Miyagi
Mitakedō 御岳堂 3.3 13.6 |
Yanaizu 柳津 3.9 17.5
Rikuzen-Yokoyama 陸前横山 4.8 22.3 No service
Rikuzen-Togura 陸前戸倉 7.2 29.5 Minamisanriku, Miyagi
Shizugawa 志津川 4.2 33.7
Bayside Arena ベイサイドアリーナ 2.4 36.1
Shizuhama 清水浜 4.5 38.2
Utatsu 歌津 4.1 42.3
Rikuzen-Minato 陸前港 2.6 44.9
Kurauchi 蔵内 1.8 46.7 Kesennuma, Miyagi
Rikuzen-Koizumi 陸前小泉 2.0 48.7
Motoyoshi 本吉 2.8 51.5
Koganezawa 小金沢 3.1 54.6
Ōya-Kaigan 大谷海岸 3.7 58.3
Rikuzen-Hashikami 陸前階上 3.3 61.6
Saichi 最知 1.7 63.3
Matsuiwa 松岩 2.3 65.6
Minami-Kesennuma 南気仙沼 2.7 68.3
Fudōnosawa 不動の沢 1.3 69.6
Kesennuma 気仙沼 3.2 72.8 Ōfunato Line


Remains of Kesennuma Line near Shizugawa Station following 2011 tsunami
BRT roadway near Saichi Station, completed in 2012
  • April 11, 1956: Ōfunato Line begins operation as a freight line between Kesennuma and Kesennuma-Minato stations
  • February 11, 1957: Kesennuma Line operates as a passenger line between Minami-Kesennuma and Motoyoshi stations. Ōfunato Freight Line is merged into the Kesennuma Line. Kesennuma to Minami-Kesennuma is open to the public. Minami-Kesennuma, Matsuiwa, Rikuzen-Hashikami, Ōya, Oganezawa, Motoyoshi stations begin operation
  • November 10, 1960: Fudōnosawa station begins operation
  • July 20, 1967: Saichi station begins operation
  • October 24, 1968: Yanaizu Line begins operation between Maeyachi and Yanaizu stations. Wabuchi, Nonodake, Rikuzen-Toyosato, Mitakedō, and Yanaizu stations begin operation
  • December 11, 1977: Kesennuma Line connects Motoyoshi and Yanaizu stations. Rikuzen-Yokoyama, Rikuzen-Togura, Shizugawa, Shizuhama, Utatsu, Rikuzen-Minato, Kurauchi and Rikuzen-Koizumi stations begin operation. The freight line between Motoyoshi and Minami-Kesennuma is abolished. Kesennuma Line merges with the Yanaizu Line and runs from Maeyachi to Kesennuma. The freight line runs from Minami-Kesennuma to Kesennuma-Minato.
  • November 1, 1979: The remaining freight line is abolished and Kesennuma-Minato station ceases operation.
  • April 1, 1987: Kesennuma Line becomes part of JR East.
  • March 22, 1997: Ōya station is renamed Ōya-Kaigan station
  • March 11, 2011: Line closed following major damage in 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
  • April 29, 2011: Rail service restored on Maeyachi - Yanaizu segment.
  • May 7, 2012: Local authorities agree to BRT service to Kesennuma.
  • August 20, 2012: BRT roadway completed between Rikuzen-Hashikami and Saichi.
  • December 22, 2012: BRT service commences between Yanaizu and Kesennuma.


  1. ^ Akiyama, Hironari; Ishibashi, Takeharu (13 March 2011). "Kesennuma described as 'hellish sight'". Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  2. ^

External linksEdit