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dmustu

Japan Trip

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My father was always interested in japan's railways so when the rugby world cup came up in Japan, we began planning.

 

There is a major but, they have decoded to resume commercial whaling so I'm watching the rugby on the box since I cannot justify giving them my money, however much I love the game.

 

I have also closed my Norwegian share portfolio and am exchanging my Hyundai for another camper.not Japanese, fortunately Norway dont make cars.

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Turns out plans can change - I've convinced the wife that we should do JR Kyushu's SL Hitoyashi, and then the Hisatsu/ kitto lines as an alternative to the Shinkansen between Kumamoto and Kagoshima.

Just have to hope that it's running and reservations are available on our dates. Will I have to have the JR Pass operational in order to make a reservation, or would they take one on the basis that the pass will be used?

Just make sure you have the better part of a day free for that trip, my wife booked us on it when we were there in April 2017 and we went from Kumamoto on the SL Hitoyoshi, then on the Isaburou Shinpei from Hitoyoshi and then finally Hayato no Kaze from Yoshimatsu to Kagoshima Chuo. Whilst the whole journey did take a fair bit of time due to the various trains we had to catch, as well as the extended stops they made at certain points along the lines, it was well worth it and was a rather refreshing change being out in the rural parts of Kyushu.

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I've made the reservations that are possible for that trip. Bizarrely online reservations are possible for SL Hitoyashi and Hayato no Kaze, but not Isaburo-Shinpei. Guess I'll have to see if I can reserve onto that one once I'm out there (can you reserve onto a JR Kyushu train from Tokyo? We only arrive in Kyushu the day before this trip). Though half the train is unreserved so I'm pretty relaxed about it.

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3 hours ago, Zomboid said:

I've made the reservations that are possible for that trip. Bizarrely online reservations are possible for SL Hitoyashi and Hayato no Kaze, but not Isaburo-Shinpei. Guess I'll have to see if I can reserve onto that one once I'm out there (can you reserve onto a JR Kyushu train from Tokyo? We only arrive in Kyushu the day before this trip). Though half the train is unreserved so I'm pretty relaxed about it.

Our experience last year was that you could reserve seats (if available) on any JR train at any JR station.

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I've had very little success taking pictures of trains (the light's been in the wrong place or they've been moving too fast in general), but here's a couple of SL Hitoyoshi from Saturday. IMG_20190413_112002159.jpg.c0ebc05955327afa9759e0e58b5f84da.jpgIMG_20190413_114547686_HDR.jpg.737b44bd578bf3e65849361e0580a88b.jpg

Got a few more days to try and get some more...

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It was a lovely scenic ride through the interior of Kyushu. And if I didn't have the JR pass, it wouldn't have cost anything additional over a normal train on that line. Took all day to do Kumamoto to Kagoshima, whilst the shinkansen takes an hour...

 

The Isabouro bit made me wonder why we can't do something like that in the UK. They have a couple of places where they stop the train for a couple of minutes to allow passengers to enjoy & photograph the view - seems like something we could do on the Heart of Wales line or something, since trains have a long wait at Llandridnod Wells (apologies for spelling), and I'm sure other suitable routes exist with a sufficiently sparse service.

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