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

2014 winter Aizu, Nikko and Hakone trip
Japan Trip 167

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 3, Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen via Utsunomiya.

I transferred at Kinugawa Onsen station from Tobu Railway to Aizu Railway’s rapid trian “Aizu Mount Express”. Before I pen about this train, I want to explain about Aizu Railway. Please see the map below:

Actually the segment between Kinugawa Onsen and Shin-Fujiwara belong to Tobu Railway. The segment between Shin-Fujiwara and Aizukogen-Ozeguchi is Yagan Railway. And the section from Aizukogen-Ozeguchi to Nishi-Wakamatsu is Aizu Railway. And also the last part belong to JR. The three rail companies, Tobu, Yagan and Aizu operate the trains together. Some of Tobu train from Asakusa go to Aizu-Tajima which is located between Aizukogen-Ozeguchi and Yunokami Onsen. Aizu Railway’s Aizu Mount Express run between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Kinugawa-Onsen. And some of them go to Nikko and Kitakata.

As you see the map above, these three companies connect Nikko, Kinugawa-Onsen and Aizu-Wakamatsu. If you are JR Pass user, this route is not covered and you have to go back to Utsunomiya and take Shinkansen to Koriyama. But if you are not JR Pass user, this route is very interesting. And trip time is not much different between JR route and Tobu/Yagan/Aizu route. Travel time is approximately 2.5 hours.

Now let me talk about Aizu Mount Express. This was two cars formation. The first car is white.

The interior is not so bad.

The second one is red.

The interior is much better.

It says “Aizu, Nikko”.

You know why this car is designed for Aizu Mount Express. The accommodation is not much different from JR’s limited express train’s. Even if you take this train by a single ticket, any surcharge is not required. Reservation is not required either. You can take this train by a base fare ticket only.

That’s why this train is very popular. After I secured my seat, Tobu Railway’s Limited Express train from Asakusa arrived at same platform. There were so many passengers to transfer from Limited Express to Aizu Mount Express. The train was packed when this departed from Kinugawa onsen station.

There were lots of standing passengers.

Many winter and snow festivals were held along this line. And there are many hot springs resort along this line too. That’s why this train was so popular.

Kinugawa Onsen
Yunishigawa onsen. This station is located in the tunnel.

However if you take this train in weekdays, train may be empty.

I got off this train at Ashinomaki Onsen.

I said “bye” to Aizu Mount Express.

The reason why I dropped by this station is lunch.

I will talk about the lunch and the rest of Aizu railway’s trip in next post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 5, Ashinomaki Onsen to Aizu Wakamatsu.

Comments

  1. Ivy says:

    Hello! i saw your blog post on Aizu Mount Express train while searching information for travel in Nikko area. I have questions and wonder if you can help?

    We will be traveling from Asakusa to Kinugawa Onsen on Tobu Railways. We are changing train to the Aizu Mount Express at Kinugawa Onsen, to continue our journey to Yunishigawa Onsen. We have a Nikko All Area Pass and limited express Kinu train tickets.

    We are not sure how to purchase the ticket for Aizu Mount Express train.
    Do we purchase a separate ticket for the Aizu Mount Express at Kinugawa Onsen before we transfer trains or do we purchase this ticket first at Asakusa at beginning of journey? If we purchase this ticket at Kinugawa Onsen, do we have to exit platform to purchase ticket before entering platform area again?

    Thank you!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Ivy,

      You don’t need to purchase a ticket at Kinugawa onsen. You just change the trains at Kinugawa onsen. You can buy a ticket for Yunishigawa onsen in the train. The conductor is on board. You may show your Nikko All Area Pass and pay the extra fare for Shin-Fujiwara to Yunishigawa-Onsen. Nikko Pass covers Kinugawa Onsen to Shin-Fujiwara. So you have to pay for Shin-Fujiwara to Yunishigawa onsen. It’s 510 yen.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. teraprameswara
    Tera Prameswara says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I would like to know, is there any kind of train pass or bus pass to cover travel between Yunishigawa Onsen and Nikko area only?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Regards,
    Tera Prameswara

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Tera,

      Unfortunately there is no deals for trip between Nikko and Yunishigawa onsen. If you travel there from Tokyo and stay there within 4 days, you can use “Marugoto Nikko Kinugawa Tobu Free Pass”. It covers Asakusa-Shimoimachi round trip fare, and Shimoimachi-Tobu Nikko, Shimoimachi-Kingawa onsen-Yunishigawa onsen and Tobu Nikko local bus unlimited ride. The price is 6,150 yen for 4 days. You can purchase at most of Tobu railway stations. There is no English info about this deal. I put Japanese link just in case.
      http://www.yagan.co.jp/pdf/ticket.pdf?20180329

      If you cannot use it, please purchase a regular ticket as you need.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Alisala says:

    Hi, I just found your blog while i was searching some info for travelling between Ashinomaki onsen station and Yunishigawa onsen station. We are a couple from Bangkok and we were a bit worried of getting lost since its just our second trip to Japan and first time using JR rail pass!!! I found your blog is very useful and helped us build up our confidences…with all the detail and photos attached!! Thank you very much for all your hard work and pls keep up your good work for those who travelling to Japan for the first or second time like us.
    Big Thank you!!!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Alisala,

      I’m very happy to hear that my trip report is very helpful. It was very nice trip. I’m pretty sure you will enjoy the scenery there.
      Enjoy your trip!

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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