Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 10, Trip from Nagano to Tokyo and taking Sunrise Seto

Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are only scheduled overnight trains in Japan.
Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are only scheduled overnight trains in Japan.

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 8, winter light up event in Kanazawa.

I would like to tell you about the second half of 6th day of my trip in this post. I went to Tokyo from Nagano via Matsumoto. And I got on the overnight train, Sunrise Seto from Tokyo.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Tried to get Zenko-ji temple in one hour

Stayed in Nagano from 14:04 to 15:00

Nagano Railway Nagano station platforms and tracks
Nagano Railway Nagano station platforms and tracks

After arrival from Yudanaka by Nagano Railway Limited Express “Snow Monkey”, I had about one hour to wait for next train. I decided to try to get Zenko-ji temple by walk. I knew I might not be able to get there. But I had been there before and I did not want to stay in the station. Weather was good and it was not bad to walk in downtown Nagano.

I had a choice to take a bus to get Zenko-ji temple. The bus runs very frequently. But I did not have a time to check the timetable. I decided to walk as far as possible.

JR Nagano station Zenko-ji exit overview. Bus stop to Zenko-ji temple is located at this side of the station.
JR Nagano station Zenko-ji exit overview. Bus stop to Zenko-ji temple is located at this side of the station.

The route to Zenko-ji temple is very easy. It is about 2km walk. I tried to walk as fast as I could. But I walked so much on the trail to Snow Monkey Park. I was very tired and I finally noticed that this was not a good idea.

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I could get the gate of Zenko-ji. But when I got the gate, it was time up. I needed to go back to Nagano station.

The gate of Zenko-ji temple
The gate of Zenko-ji temple

If you have two hours, you can get there. But as you read above, one hour is too short!

Trip to Tokyo from Nagano via Matsumoto

Nagano 15:00 (Limited Express Shinano 18) 15:52 Matsumoto 17:18 (Limited Express Azusa 30) 20:07 Shinjuku

Hokuriku Shinkansen connects Tokyo and Nagano directly. This is the fastest choice to get Tokyo from Nagano. But I took the route via Matsumoto. It was a detour and trip time was much longer. The reason why I have never taken a part of Chuo line between Matsumoto and Shinjuku. That was the segment between Kobuchizawa and Otsuki. I have been trying to take all train lines in Japan. So whenever I have a trip, I try to take train lines that I have never taken.

I took limited express Shinano again.
I took limited express Shinano again.

I got on Limited Express Shinano from Nagano to Matsumoto. This train runs on Shinonoi line on this segment. On the way to Matsumoto from Nagano, there is a small station that is called “Obasute”. This train does not stop at this station. But the view from Obasute station is known as one of the best view in all JR stations. I could this view on my left side to Matsumoto.

The view from Obasute station. It does not seem to be amazing. But if you see it in the night. you can enjoy superb view.
The view from Obasute station. It does not seem to be amazing. But if you see it in the night. you can enjoy superb view.

If you take this route during night time, the view is more gorgeous. On weekend during night time, seasonal train runs between Nagano and Obasute to see night view.

Shinano arrived at Matsumoto station almost on time. I dropped by Matsumoto station in this trip before. I stayed in Matsumoto station and ate early dinner. I did not have any chances to eat lunch in this day. And also in Matsumoto station, there was the restaurant that I wanted to try.

Just take escalator to go up to next floor neat east exit of Matsumoto station. When I got next floor, I found the restaurant just in front of me.

This escalator is located near east side exit (a.k.a. Oshiroguchi exit).
This escalator is located near east side exit (a.k.a. Oshiroguchi exit).

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This is “Matsumoto Karaage Center”. Karaage is Japanese style deep fried chicken. This is very popular Karaage restaurant in this region. I was starving and needed a big meal. I ordered a big combination meal.

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It was sooooo yummy but actually it was too much. I ordered too much…

It was too much but I was very satisfied. After early dinner, I got on Limited Express Azusa to Shinjuku.

Limited Express Shinano (right) and Limited Express Azusa (left) at Matsumoto station
Limited Express Shinano (right) and Limited Express Azusa (left) at Matsumoto station

Trip to Okayama from Tokyo by overnight train

Tokyo 22:00 (Limited Express Sunrise Seto) 06:27 Okayama

After I arrived in station, I went to Ochanomizu station to take a bath before boarding overnight train. There is the public bath, “Kanda Aqua House” near Ochanomizu station. The fee is 460 yen to take a bath. It has only Japanese site but I put the link just in case.

Kanda Aqua House

I spend the last night of my trip in the train. In Japan, only these trains, Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are only scheduled overnight trains. I wanted to stay on board all through the night.

Sunrise Seto (right) and Limited Express Tokiwa (left) at Tokyo station
Sunrise Seto (right) and Limited Express Tokiwa (left) at Tokyo station

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I enjoyed to spend the night in the train to Okayama.

Continue to the post, Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 11, Visit Kurashiki and go back to Osaka by 500 TYPE EVA Shinkansen.

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