Saturday, 29 March 2014

Seishun 18: the ban'etsu line

Seishun 18 season- one of three periods when JR companies nationwide join in
cooperation to offer a ticket that gives unlimited local train travel on JR trains. It's an exceptional deal when it's used to the full, but you need to have time on your side. 11500 yen for 5 non consecutive days travel. A Shinkansen ticket to Odate takes a mostly non descript route of ugly suburbia at a round trip price of about 34,000¥ ($360). The fastest route takes 5 hours. In contrast the seishun 18 yesterday took 18 hours but had some lovely scenery and a lunch break in Niigata City with the Yamashitas. I was particularly excited to be taking the Ban'etsu line - from Koriyama through Aizu to Niigata -for the first time. Even though this is not the prettiest time of the year in the mountains, it didn't disappoint.

In order to get the lunch break in Niigata, I needed to take an express to Sakata to catch up with the local train do I could make it to Odate in a single day. The route is as follows :


Rurousha said...

Banetsu?! Wait, what?! You traveled on the steam train? Or just on the line? Please tell me it's just the line and prevent death due to jealousy.

Cecilia said...

No no, just the regular kaku-eki teisha. I'm more excited about the route than the train itself... sacrilege?
It's one of my life disappointments that the Tadami sen has stopped the through service due to flooding and landslides a few years back. But on the other hand, I am so glad that I took the Joban line before the earthquake when the whole distance could be traveled.
I still have quite a few Tohoku lines to go: Ban'etsu Tou, Suigun, Mito, Kessenuma, Ishinomaki, Ofunato, Minami & Kita Rias, (not JR) Yamada, Ominato, Aizu, Yagan and a few other minor local lines that I don't know the names of...
First priority is the JR lines.