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OverviewEdit

「Three Men Along the Rails」 —On the Rails— (「レールの上の三人の男」 ("Rēru no Ue no Sannin no Otoko") —On the Rails—) is the third chapter of the first volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

As it is a popular chapter, it has been given 3 iterations: anime, manga and Drama CD.

 The chapter starts off with Kino and Hermes in a dense forest, unable to see the sky. Kino states that she dislikes driving in this type of environment because it is easy to become disoriented due to the lack of visible sun. She comments on the scent of the forest - earth and trees- and that while it is pleasant, it reminds her of shrine incense.

Kino continuously needs to stop and check her compass due to the disorientation. She complains that she hates doing so, but continues every five minutes to make sure they are on the right track.

Eventually they reach a set of rusted train tracks. covered in grass. The duo follow these tracks until they meet the first man, who is clearing away the grass and rust. He states that he has been working for the company for fifty years, since he was eighteen. He had a wife and child when he left, and was working to support his family. Unfortunately, as he has never returned home since his first departure, he is unsure of their current well being.

Kino and Hermes meet the second man working on the railroad the next day. This man is removing the tracks, as ordered by his employer. He tells the duo that he left home at sixteen to support his five younger brothers at home, and had never returned for the past fifty years. They comment on how well maintained the tracks are, but do not question on why.

The third man is met on the third day as Kino and Hermes follow the trail onwards. He is setting down new tracks as requested by the railroad company. He reveals that he took the job at fifteen to support his ill parents, but as it has been fifty years, they have most likely already passed away.


All three railroad workers comment on how they have never been told to stop working, nor have visited their homes in fifty years. They also all ask Kino where she is headed, in which she gives no reply.


As she makes her way along an old railroad, Kino runs into a man who has been polishing the tracks for some fifty years. Stopping for a break, Kino entertains the man with a story of a land where the people no longer have to work, but choose to subject themselves to meaningless and stressful tasks anyway. It may seem foolish to the old man, but little does he realise that his own work is just as pointless, for, as Kino is about to discover, there are two more men working on the railroad, each undoing the work done by the others.

The chapter starts off with Kino and Hermes in a dense forest, unable to see the sky. Kino states that she dislikes driving in this type of environment because it is easy to become disoriented due to the lack of visible sun.

Kino continuously needs to stop and check her compass due to the disorientation. She complains that she hates doing so, but continues every five minutes to make sure they are on the right track.

Eventually they reach a set of rusted train tracks. covered in grass. The duo follow these tracks until they meet the first man, who is clearing away the grass and rust. He states that he has been working for the company for fifty years, since he was eighteen. He had a wife and child when he left, and was working to support his family. Unfortunately, as he has never returned home since his first departure, he wonders how they are doing.

Kino and Hermes meet the second man working on the railroad the next day. This man is removing the tracks, as ordered by his employer. He tells the duo that he left home at sixteen to support his five younger brothers at home, and had never returned for the past fifty years. They comment on how well maintained the tracks are, but do not question on why.

The third man is met on the third day as Kino and Hermes follow the trail onwards. He is setting down new tracks as requested by the railroad company. He reveals that he took the job at fifteen to support his ill parents, but as it has been fifty years, they have most likely already passed away.


All three railroad workers comment on how they have never been told to stop working, nor have visited their homes in fifty years. They also all ask Kino where she is headed, in which she replies, "Toward my Destination".

The story of three men working on a railtrack far away from their home country for fifty long years.

  • Old man who polishes the rails: Koji Yada (矢田耕司)
  • Old man who removes the rails: Osamu Saka (阪脩)
  • Old man who lays down the rails: Takeshi Aono (青野武)


Differences in MediaEdit

  • The anime iteration does not take up the entire episode.
  • Kino answers the railroad workers' question in the manga iteration only.

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