Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 3, Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen via Utsunomiya

At Tokyo station, 6:00 am. I did not see any snow on the ground at that time.
At Tokyo station, 6:00 am. I did not see any snow on the ground at that time.

This post is continued from Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 2, Stay in First-Cabin Akihabara.

Weather forecast said it was heavy snowing on that day. It was snowing when I checked out hotel. But it was light flurries and not serious situation.

My schedule in the early part of morning was the following:

06:04 Tokyo
(Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko 51)
06:53 Utsunomiya
06:59 Utsunomiya
(Nikko line local train)
07:36 Imaichi
(Walk 15 minutes)
08:17 Shimo-Imaichi
(Tobu Railway local train)
08:17 Kinugawa-Onsen

Even though snow was getting heavier, Yamabiko 51 arrived at Utsunomiya on time.

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I had only 6 minutes to transfer. But I researched and I was convinced to transfer in 6 minutes easily.

Actually I did it in 2 minutes.

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But train did not come at 6:59 departure time and announce was made. It said Nikko line was suspended due to mechanical trouble. I asked station staff. They had no idea how long it would take to recover. They offered me free ticket for local bus to get Shimo-Imaichi. But next bus would depart at 09:30. I did not know how long it would take to get Shimoimaichi. But I had to get Kinugawa Onsen by 10:01. So 9:30 departure bus is obviously too late to catch up with my original itinerary.

I knew Tobu Railway had a station in Utusnomiya. But it is not same location as JR Utsunomiya station. But I checked the timetable at Hyperdia and I found the route. I had WIFI mobile router, so I could get connection anywhere. Especially this mobile connection helped me in that situation!

In the following map, there are two routes, blue and red. Blue line is my original route, Utusnomiya-Imaichi-Imaichi-Kinugawa onsen, And red line is my revised route, Utsunomiya-Tobu Utsunomiya-Shin Tochigi-Kinugawa Onsen.

As you saw the map above, my revised route is a big detour. But I could catch 10:01 departure train at Kinugawa-Onsen.

07:05 Utsunomiya
(Taxi 10 minutes)
07:21 Tobu Utsunomiya
(Tobu Railway local train)
07:57 Shin-Tochigi
08:27 Shin-Tochigi
(Tobu Railway rapid train)
09:31 Kinugawa-Onsen
10:01 Kinugawa-Onsen
(Aizu Railway Aizu Mount Express)
11:40 Ashinomaki-Onsen

I jumped into Taxi to get Tobu Utsunomiya station. Taxi ran very very slowly because it was too much snow and very slippery. I could catch 07:21 departure train at Tobu-Utsunomiya. I had to pay extra 860 yen for Tobu train and another 800 yen for taxi. However I was very happy that I could catch up with my original schedule.

Tobe railway’s trains were delayed a little bit. But it was not a big issue. Show was getting heavier and heavier.

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This Tobu line, Utusnomiya line is a sort of local line. There are lot of empty seats.

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I had 30 minutes to transfer at Shin-Tochigi station.

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I had nothing to do. I uploaded the pictures from camera to PC, checked email and replied inquiries on my website.

And I took the train to Kinugawa onsen. This rapid train ran from Asakusa and it was 6 cars formation. It was very interesting train. Because this train had theee different destinations. The first two cars went to Aizu-Tajima where is located between Kinugawa- Onsen and Aizu-Wakamatsu, second two cars went to Shin-Fujiwara where is a few stations away from Kinugawa-Onsen and the last two cars went to Nikko.

It was weekend and there were lots of winter festivals Kinugawa Onsen and surrounding area. So train was very busy.

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Train arrived at Kinugawa-Onsen. Even though train was delayed for 10 minutes, I could get the next train easily. The train in the photo below was Aizu Mount Express. I took that train next.

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I supposed to have a breakfast break in Kinugawa-Onsen. I could not get any breakfast there. But this breakfast break saved me this morning. If I made a tight schedule, I could not catch up with my original schedule.

But I was hungry and I could get only a can of coffee. 🙁

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I will write about Aizu Mount Express, Yagan Railway and Aizu Railway.

Continue to the post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 4, Kinugawa Onsen to Ashinomaki Onsen

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