August 2, 2009
Musashi-sakai to Sakata, Yamagata (August 2nd) 《Summer Trip Day 1》
The leaflet of Hokkaido & Higashi-nihon Pass of JR and the tickets.
With this ticket you can ride any local trains of JR Hokkaido and Higashi-nihon companies for 5 days and also can ride the express named "Hamanasu" from Aomori to Sapporo.
A couple of months ago we found a leaflet at some JR station. The leaflet was about a JR special ticket, which enables you to go to Hokkaido only for 10000 yen! My partner, Daniel has never been to Hokkaido before, so we started to plan for the summer trip to Hokkaido using this ticket. With this ticket, we need to take local trains, so I used on-line train schedule checking site and made the plan for the trains to take and the places to stay.
On the first day of our trip we took the trains almost all day to get to Sakata Station.
Here is the course we took on that day...
Musashi-sakai Sta. (7:29) - Shinjuku Sta. (7:58) - Akabane Sta. (8:49) - Takasaki Sta. (10:30) - Minakami Sta. (11:41) - Nagaoka Sta. (13:39) - Niitsu Sta. (15:14) and got Bentou for lunch with a cup of Sake and had them on the train - Sakata Sta. (19:33).
In Sakata we stayed at Hotel α1, where we had stayed twice before when we went to Mt. Choukai. Near the Sakata Sta. area, most of the stores were closed and it seemed quite a few of them were not just closed but bankrupted. It was kinda hard to find a place to eat supper.
Doai Sta. on the way from Minakami to Nagaoka.
This station is in the middle of a long tunnel.
As soon as we entered Niigata prefecture we saw many rice fields almost all the way to Sakata Sta. It felt nice to see the scenery without any tall buildings.
The train from Niitsu Sta., Niigata to Sakata Sta., Yamagata.
The train ran by the Japan Sea seashore.
The sunset by the seashore.
The mysterious sunset around Tsuruoka, Yamagata.