Posted by: idJoe™ | March 24, 2010

Journey to Shin’etsu

The date was March 13th, 2010. It was 00:29 AM when the three of us departed from Tachikawa station located at the outskirt of Tokyo. We ride on Moonlight Shinshû train which travelled from Shinjuku to Hakuba (located in Nagano Pref.) within five and a half hour. Due to our circumstances (i.e. using 18 kippu to travel along JR line), we couldn’t depart from Shinjuku since the train left at 23:59. Therefore, it was decided that we would meet at Tachikawa station when the date has changed. There we were, the three adventurers: shunchan, rialam, and idJoe.

The seat for Moonlight Shinshû that we rode on was reserved seat (shiteiseki), but hey… there was an ojisan sitting on our seat, NOTE: OUR seat, not my seat nor shunchan’s nor rialam’s. The process was like this: he sat on the seat reserved for me and shunchan’s, and then knowing that they were our seats, he moved to next seat reserved by rialam. Then knowing that it was rialam’s seat, he moved to another seat. T_T

Well, that’s it. Now we sat on our seats through the Chuô Line to Itoigawa Line. FYI, Chuô Line (Chuô-sen and Chuô Honsen extends from Shinjuku to Matsumoto, and Itoigawa line from Matsumoto to Itoigawa, Niigata Pref.) That night we passed Kôfu, Matsumoto,and arrived in Hakuba at 5.40 in the morning. It was raining lightly and the snow was everywhere because it was snowing there the previous day.

Hakuba Station Platform

Hakuba Station Side Look

While waiting for the other adventurer, i.e. choidebu, we decided to kill time by taking a walk near Hakuba station. Well, in the end we ended up playing snow…

Side Kick!

rialam's foot on ice

Then at the appointed time, we decided to meet at Aoki Lake. We imagined a beautiful lake with green leafed tree surrounds it, but what we found was a white lake full of snow. I think we should’ve come later in April or May. Then we decided to go to Japan Sea. What is so special about Japan Sea? Well, actually nothing at all, we just wanted to see Japan Sea, and not only Pacific Ocean near Kantô area. We ride through Itoigawa line northward, and had to stop at Minami Otari station, and waiting for the train for Itoigawa. There again, now four of us, playing snow ball. At last, about 40 minutes later, the train arrived and we can go northward.

It took us almost an hour to reach Itoigawa station, located near Nihon-kai. Unfortunately, though, it was raining when we reached Japan Sea (Nihon-kai). But, we decided to go as near as possible to the sea, and for about five minutes we had seen the other side on Honshû. Then, it was time to catch the train. (I’m not sure if you can call it a TRAIN, because it only had one car) And, hey…we rode on the very same train we used to reach Itoigawa from Minami Otari Station. Pheeeewww…..

Then, we went on our journey southward to Matsumoto city. It was much warmer there, since there was fewer snow remaining within the city. We ate our late lunch at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. We had soba and Inago !! (Inago is grasshopper, LOL). Afterwards, we visited Matsumoto Castle, and planned to visit Kaichi Primary School Museum, but alas we were too late for about 10 minutes. O, well…. Then we hurried back to Matsumoto station inside a very slow taxi, and duh! I thought we missed the last train for Tokyo area. But fortunately, I didn’t read the timetable correctly, thus we still had a 40 minutes extra for the last train, ^_^ thanks to the other 3 adventurers.

We bought our dinner at Yoshinoya near Kôfu station (Yamanashi Pref.) and ate it on the train. We reached Hachioji at around 11 PM, and then Shinjuku at 11.30. Then I went back to my very own apartment in Saitama city, and arrived there around 00.15 AM, March 15th. Whew…. what a day….

You can check my photos on my web album.


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