This was the last day of trip and went back to Tokyo. But I did not go back to Tokyo directly. Because I wanted to take Shinetsu line from Nagano to Naoetsu and Limited Express Hakutaka from Naoetsu to Echigo-Yuzawa. Because Shinetsu line will be transferred to third sector company after Hokriku Shinkansen open in 2014. JR Pass will not cover this segment. Limited Express Hakutaka may be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkanse open. So I made a big detour to take these trains/routes.
I had a business appointment. But I was available in the morning. I picked the round trip to Lake Kawaguchi from several plans. I wanted to take Azusa and Fuji Kyuko Railway. And also I wanted to see Otsuki station and make sure how to transfer from JR to Fuji Kyuko Railway.
After I got off Resort Shirakami at Hirosaki, I had 1 hour and 20 minutes to take next train, Limited Express Tsugaru. I knew it was quite tight to visit Hirosaki castle, but it was the first time to visit Hirosaki, so I tried.
After I got off Akebono at Akita, I was going to ride Resort Shirakami. But it would depart at 8:38 am. I had almost 2 hours. I was looking for somewhere to stay for 2 hours near Akita station in early morning.
After I stored my suitcase in the coin operated locker, I walked around Tokyo station. First of all, I wanted to see Tokyo station Marunouchi side. The above picture is exactly I wanted to see. This heritage building had been completed to restore in last October. A part of this building was open as high-end hotel, Tokyo Station Hotel.
I had a trip to Tohoku area and Nagano area in this past January and February. I stayed there for only three nights. But fortunately I have got many trains, like Overnight Limited Express Akebono, Skyliner, Resort Shirakami, Fuji Kyuko, Ueda Railway, Limited Express Hakutaka. This following list is what I wanted to do in this trip:
Try to book and take overnight train on arrival day. I wanted to check how long we spend to change the pass, book and transfer to Ueno/Tokyo.
To take Resort Shirakami and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway. I wanted to see some spots and trains in Tohoku area.
To go to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) station from Shinjuku via Fuji Kyuko Railway. I wanted to take both Fujisan Limited Express and Fuji Tozan Densha on Fuji Kyuko Railway.
To take a train between Nagano and Naoetsu. This section will be transferred to non JR lines in 2015. Because it will be transferred to third sector companies, Shinano Railway and Echigo Tokimeki Railway after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open. JR Pass will not cover this section.
To take Limited Express Hakutaka. This express train will be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open in 2015.
I just wanted to do above things. However I believe some of my experience will help you to plan your trip in Japan. This will be a long story. First of all, I write the post about the first day. After I arrived in Narita, I exchanged the pass, booked trains, and transferred to Ueno to take Overnight train Akebono.