(when I took a later train than I had printed out.)
Rule number one of seishun 18 kippu travel is have a copy of the timetable that you've planned. There is a very good reason for this: trains are irregular. You need to know which train to catch when there are various ways of getting to the same destination. Missing a train can be the difference between arriving today or arriving tomorrow. Furthermore the difference between catching a rapid and a local can be the difference between having a little time to buy something to eat and and not eating all day. Rule number two is to have food to minimize the inconvenience of messing up rule one. Three is having a mobile phone or JR timetable that enables one to scout alternative options. .... Rule number 4 is having one's walled close to the top when one is changing trains so that one can buy emergency supplies - tissues, food, a drink in the time between trains rather than spending the precious minutes trying to find one's wallet in the bottom of one's bag.
If rule number one is observed other rules are redundant.
The perspective on the way back.
Fortunately I had my mobile phone, a half used recharging battery and my wits about me as arrived in Sakata to a message that passengers for the Rikuu sai sen would transfer to a bus as the train wasn't running - no explanation. It mean 40 min extra travelling time to Shinjo, thwarting my plan to go Shinjo-Nyuko Onsen- Kogota on the Rikuu tou line.... to have taken this would have mean an overnight stop and arriving the following morning....I ended up taking the Ou sen back to Fukushima, coming back the same way I went. But I guess the whole point is that the tickets are cheap not convenient.
I am sending the remaining three days to the PIL for a day trip with their neighbour - all the trains there are local trains, so it works out well for them.
|The obligatory JR timetable - I use a mobile|
|A street not far from Sakata|
|The bus replacing the Riku u sai line between Sakata and Shinjo|