This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 7, from Tokyo to Bessho Onsen by Ueda Railway.
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.
Fron Bessho Onsen to Ueda station in early morning
I checked in so late last night. But I had to leave in early morning. Because I had to take 17:30 departure flight at Narita. I had to be Tokyo by 13:30. In this trip, it was crazy busy from the beginning to the end.
Before I left Bessho Onsen, I enjoyed taking bath in early morning.
And then I walked in this small hot springs town. This town is sometimes called “Kamakura in Shinshu”. There are lots of temples and shrines.
There are three public bath in this small town. This is one of those, Daisihiyu.
I wanted to try but no extra time! I had to go to the station and took Ueda Railway again.
At Bessho Onsen station, preserved Ueda Railway’s original fleet is displayed.
This train was called “Marumado train”. Marumado means circle shape window. It has some circle shape windows.
It was Sunday morning. There was no passenger except me.
Ueda station is not a big terminal station but it belongs to three different railway companies.
JR East (the Hokuriku Shinkansen)
Shinano Railway that used to be a part of JR East’s Shinetsu line before Nagano Shikansen opened,
and Ueda Railway.
I took Nagano Shinkasen for only 10 minutes to get Nagano and transferred to local train.
From Nagano to Naoetsu by Local train “Myoko”
This local train is operated by old type limited express fleet, 183 series. Only two round trips of all local trains between Nagano and Naoetsu are this train, Myoko.
In the train, looked Limited Express interior, but it was so old.
I took this train from Nagano to Naoetsu for 1.5 hour. After Hokuriku Shinkansen will open in 2014, this section will be third sector companies, Shinano Railway and Echigo-Tokimeki Railway. JR Pass will not cover this line.
This section is one of the heaviest snowfall area. After 30 minutes from Nagano, it was completely white.
I saw one of Hokuroku Shikansen’s station under construction. It will be called Joetsu station. But there are Joetsu Shikansen and Joetsu line in Japan. It may be mixed up. So this station’s name may be changed.
And then I arrived at Naoetsu.
From Naoetsu to Echigo-Yuzawa by Limited Express Hakutaka
Hokurikoku Shinkansen will not go through this city. I worry that Naoetsu will be on the decline.
I took Limited Express Hokuetsu.
This train will be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkansen open. Because the fastest route to get Toyama and Kanazawa from Tokyo is Joetsu Shinkansen and this train via Echigo-Yuzawa. But once Hokuriku Shinkansen open, Shinkansen will be much faster. There will be no reason that this train run.
This train takes a route via third sector railway Hokuetsu Kyuko Hokuhoku line. This train runs at 160km/h. It is the fastest train in all JR trains except Shinkansen.
It was too much snow and there were lots of tunnels on Hokuhoku line. I arrived at Echigo-Yuzawa in a blink of time.
I think 99% passengers from Limited Express Hakutaka transferred to Joetsu Shinkansen. I took Shikansen as well. And I took Narita Express to get Narita from Tokyo on time.
It was super busy trip. But I made many things on my wish list, such as Akebono, Resort Shirakami, Akita Nairiku Jukann Railway, Fuji Kyuko, Ueda Railway, Shinetsu line and Limited Express Hakutaka. I was really satisfied with this trip.