日本での一年間

March 17, 2009

17 Hours on a Train

Filed under: Domestic, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 5:15 am

I recently went on a short trip with a friend of mine. We were able to keep our transportation costs very low because we rode on a special ticket, the youth 18 ticket (青春18きっぷ). It’s a special ticket offered through the JR company (Japan Railway) during school holidays to anyone, not just youths. It lets you ride on any local JR train as much as you want in a day for 5 days for about 100 USD (11,500 Yen), or about $20 a day. The only catch is, you can only ride on local trains. So, a trip form Tokyo to Osaka for example, which takes 2 hours on the bullet train (shinkansen), takes about 7 hours on local trains, and you aren’t guaranteed to have a seat, like on the bullet train.

My friend and I decided to visit Tottori, and spent 17 hours on the train with very little breaks, taking the very first train from our station in the morning at 5:12 am and barely making the last train into the rural city of Tottori at 10:23.

The following pictures show our journey from Tokyo to Tottori.

5 am, the station near my place, Western Tokyo. We were on the train before the sun came up.

5 am, the station near my place, Western Tokyo. We were on the train before the sun came up.

See that black area? Thats the sky. It was still the dead of nigth when we left.

See that black area? That's the sky. It was still the dead of night when we left.

A little bit over an hour later. The sun has come up and is slowly making sky brighten

A little bit over an hour later. The sun has come up and is slowly making sky brighten

Half an hour after that at about 6:45. The sun is up now. The girls in this picture are wearing uniforms and are clearly on their way to school.

Half an hour after that at about 6:45. The sun is up now. The girls in this picture are wearing uniforms and are clearly on their way to school.

Around noon, we stopped for a lunch break.

Around noon, we stopped for a lunch break.

The place we stopped was Nagoya! Japans 4th largest city/3rd largest metropolitan area (depending on whether Yokohama is counted as separate from Tokyo or not)

The place we stopped was Nagoya! Japan's 4th largest city/3rd largest metropolitan area (depending on whether Yokohama is counted as separate from Tokyo or not)

The JR Nagoya towers

The JR Nagoya towers

Public art outside of Nagoya station

Public art outside of Nagoya station, and a man ignoring it while typing something into his cell phone.

Ogaki station in Gifu prefecture. We missed a train here and got stuck for a while because the trains dont run very often. Not much there...

Ogaki station in Gifu prefecture. We missed a train here and got stuck for a while because the trains don't run very often. Not much there...

The only thing in Ogaki, a big shopping mall.

The only thing in Ogaki, a big shopping mall.

Benches! These dont exist in most Japanese cities. If youre walking around and get tired, the only thing to do is go find a cafe to sit in and often they wont let you sit down unless youve ordered something.

Benches! These don't exist in most Japanese cities. If you're walking around and get tired, the only thing to do is go find a cafe to sit in and often they won't let you sit down unless you've ordered something.

Looking out at Sonobe, a town under the administration of Kyoto Metropolitan district, while waiting for our next train. Apparently, it actually merged with some other towns a few years back and is now officially part of nantan city, but still referred to as Sonobe town. Wikipedia tells me that it is the hometown of Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo mastermind who is responsible for most of their imaginative games, including Mario and Donkey Kong.

Looking out at Sonobe, a town under the administration of Kyoto Metropolitan district, while waiting for our next train. Apparently, it actually merged with some other towns a few years back and is now officially part of nantan city, but still referred to as Sonobe town. Wikipedia tells me that it is the hometown of Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo mastermind who is responsible for most of their imaginative games, including Mario and Donkey Kong.

Waiting to change train in Sonobe, we saw that this city has its name landscaped into the mountain. The sun was going down at this point and it was starting to get dark.

Waiting to change train in Sonobe, we saw that this city has it's name landscaped into the mountain. The sun was going down at this point and it was starting to get dark.

And finally...arriving in Tottori.

And finally...arriving in Tottori.

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