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:

aizu-yagan copy

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.

Japan Trip 155

The interior is not so bad.

Japan Trip 161

The second one is red.

Japan Trip 154

The interior is much better.

It says "Aizu, Nikko".
It says “Aizu, Nikko”.
Japan Trip 169

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.

FB_IMG_139182195597082051
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
Kinugawa Onsen
Yunishigawa onsen. This station is located in the tunnel.
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.

Yunokami onsen 007

I said “bye” to Aizu Mount Express.

Yunokami onsen 008

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!

  2. 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

    • 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!!!

Copied title and URL