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.
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 single ticket, you don’t have to pay any surcharge and any booking. You can take this train by base fare without reservation.
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. As a result, there are so any standee in the train.
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.
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.