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Japanese Vacation No.9 (week 1)


westfalen

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I've settled into the Toyoko Inn Nanba for the night. I made the first change to my itinerary this morning when I decided to take the $5.40 bus to Coolangatta Airport instead of the $40 taxi.

 

Took about 20 minutes from stepping off the plane to walking out of the JR ticket office with my railpass so I got into town an hour earlier than I planned. Got the Rapit, or as they say 'Rapito Beta' into Nanba for Y1390 one way, a downright bargin compared to the Airtrain in Brisbane.

 

Tested my Gogo Japan GPS on the iPhone to find the hotel, seems to work ok. Roamimg not working on the phone, at least not in Osaka anyway, all indications are that it should, if I don't have any luck tomorrow I will call Telstra and give them what for. When I got off the plane I got a text from them welcoming me to global roaming so it works when they want it to.

 

Off to Nagoya via the Kintetsu in the moning.

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CaptOblivious

I had the same problem with my Hungarian T-Mobile SIM. I was supposed to be able to roam, and got the same text message (albeit in Hugarian). But as soon as I try to place a call, I get a recorded message from SoftBank telling me that my phone won't work with their system. Hello!? If I can hear that message, why can't you put a call through exactly? I don't get it.

 

Anyway, that's the same Toyoko Inn we stayed at just a couple of weeks ago. Some lovely places to eat between there and Namba Station :D Yokoso (for the 9th time)!

 

And I have to say, the Rapit was hands down the best airport train experience I've ever had. Easy-peasy, super comfy, and shockingly cheap. Plus, I mean come on! As a free bonus, you're riding the awesomest train evar!

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You got to take the Rapit again....I'm jealous. The 1390 yen for the Rapit, is actually more than the AirTrain we have in NY that goes to JFK International Airport which is about 800 yen one way.

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Our Airtrain in Brisbane is $13 from the city to the airport and it's only 12km versus the 50 or so here plus you're likely to just get an ordinary old suburban EMU. :sad:

 

Called Telstra via Skype and they assured me they got the phone working and to try it again later today.

 

I'm just about to try Toyoko Inn's breakfast before I head to the Kintetsu station. I should have some photos tonight, didn't download any last night because I only took a bit at the airport station.

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Looking forward to reading your impressions and observations on today's schedule.  Perhaps now you're on your way to the railway museum? Lucky bugger!

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west Iphone power key held, slide to power off, Switch on

 

if failing still go settings > carrier select docomo or soft.

 

fails call telstra and tear em a new ahole

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CaptOblivious

Our Airtrain in Brisbane is $13 from the city to the airport and it's only 12km versus the 50 or so here plus you're likely to just get an ordinary old suburban EMU. :sad:

 

Called Telstra via Skype and they assured me they got the phone working and to try it again later today.

 

I'm just about to try Toyoko Inn's breakfast before I head to the Kintetsu station. I should have some photos tonight, didn't download any last night because I only took a bit at the airport station.

 

If you can tell me what the potato salad-like stuff is, and what's in it, I'd like to know…it was surprisingly yummy, but rather unidentifiable.

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Our Airtrain in Brisbane is $13 from the city to the airport and it's only 12km versus the 50 or so here plus you're likely to just get an ordinary old suburban EMU. :sad:

 

Called Telstra via Skype and they assured me they got the phone working and to try it again later today.

 

I'm just about to try Toyoko Inn's breakfast before I head to the Kintetsu station. I should have some photos tonight, didn't download any last night because I only took a bit at the airport station.

 

If you can tell me what the potato salad-like stuff is, and what's in it, I'd like to know…it was surprisingly yummy, but rather unidentifiable.

 

Maybe it is potato salad?  In Japan often thinly sliced cucumber is added (which I like but my gf doesn't) and very occasionally mandarin oranges (which we both dislike).  Anyway, each Toyoko Inn has slightly different menu items- and some are quite elaborate and a real bargain, while a few are just cold dinner rolls and coffee (some Tokyo locations with the cheaper rates- I proceed to the nearest family restaurant or MickyD'S then). By the way westfalen, when in Nagoya you may want to try "morning service" cooked breakfasts available at the kissaten (coffee houses)- Nagoya is famous in Japan for having elaborate sets (sometimes all you can eat) at a price of 350~500 yen, should you find the fare at the Toyoko Inn below standard.

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Well, the phone is working now, seems it had foreign calls barred.

 

Breakfast at Toyoko Inn was a minimal Japanese affair as I expected it would be, but, also as I expected, my route to the Kintetsu Namba station took me past about fifty assorted bakeries and coffee shops. I've gotten worse and less that I've had to pay more for at hotels in Germany and France. The romms are comfortable and cheap, finding enough to eat is never a problem in Japan.

 

I would recommend the trip from Osaka to Nagoya on the Kintetsu Urban Liner, the Kintetsu route has a variety of scenery and the train itself is very nice and is a change from the usual Shinkansen if you are staying in the Namba area of Osaka. It cost Y4190 but I'll get part of that back from them later in the trip when I have a Kansai Thru Pass. Arriving at one station along the way the melody they played was 'Suwanee River'. !!??

 

I made it out to the SC Maglev & Railway Park this afternoon. To describe it in one word, amazing. Not much steam, three if you count the steam railcar and the 2'6" gauge loco outside but if you're a Shinkansen fan it should be on your 'must see' list.

 

On the way to the museum I thought the Aonami Railway platform at Nagoya looked like a good train watching spot so I let the fisrt couple of trains go without me to see what came along. Aside from the Shinkansens on one side and the suburbans on the other in 30 minutes I bagged two container trains, two tank car trains hauled by double headed DD51's and blue and white EF64 1003 running light engine north (west?) along the Tokaido line like it had a wannabe shinkansen driver at the throttle.

 

This evening I checked out the Bic Camera on the west side of Nagoya station, the usual jaw dropping array of goods but the only model railway stuff was some Tomytec. At Books Sanseido on the 11th floor of the department store at the station I picked up a copy of the freight timetable, about half of the building seems to be a Tokyu Hands with a small selection of model trains in the toy department.

 

For my travels around Nagoya I picked up a Manaca card that can be used on the Meitetsu and subways, and my JR pass becomes operational tomorrow.

 

An observation just made (also probably to be expected), my room in this Toyoko Inn is exactly identical to the one last night in Namba.

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CaptOblivious

How odd about the Bic Camera. I've just found that the Bic Camera in Kyoto has absolutely no model trains at all. Heartbreaking, really.

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How odd about the Bic Camera. I've just found that the Bic Camera in Kyoto has absolutely no model trains at all. Heartbreaking, really.

 

Those big stores (bic and yodobashi) despite being chains, have different stock (and not just trains) depending on location.  I suspect Yodobashi Umeda will be a better bet- it rivals Yodobashi Akiba in size.

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If you can tell me what the potato salad-like stuff is, and what's in it, I'd like to know…it was surprisingly yummy, but rather unidentifiable.

 

one of the local japanese restaurants here in bethesda, md (the one jrm does our monthly lunches at most of the time) serves this on their salad bar now. i think they mix in the cucumber like bikkuri mentioned as there is something crunchy in there and also Krab and of course lots o mayonnaise! it is yummy!

 

jeff

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On the way to the museum I thought the Aonami Railway platform at Nagoya looked like a good train watching spot so I let the fisrt couple of trains go without me to see what came along. Aside from the Shinkansens on one side and the suburbans on the other in 30 minutes I bagged two container trains, two tank car trains hauled by double headed DD51's and blue and white EF64 1003 running light engine north (west?) along the Tokaido line like it had a wannabe shinkansen driver at the throttle.

 

I figured you'd notice the "scenery" on this line.  I see you managed to catch Nagoya Rinkai's DD13- most excellent!

 

Kintetsu route- I always use that route when traveling between Osaka and Nagoya, rather than the Tokaido Line or the shadow-of-its-former self Kansai Line. I do the local trains only course though, which involves a change of trains at Ise Nakagawa- the limited express trains use a bypass (you may have noticed they are building a new one alongside the current one) which avoids the station altogether.  This arrangement is a legacy of when the Kintetsu Line to Ise was standard gauge, while the Nagoya Main Line was 1067mm.  The Nagoya Line was standard gauged in 1959, after a devastating typhoon.

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 I see you managed to catch Nagoya Rinkai's DD13- most excellent!

I almost got this one too, but a post got in the way.

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The beautiful HO layout, and an original '0' series dining car (note the 2x1 seating with a separate isle down the side of the car so passengers passing through don't disturb the diners. Only the Japanese would think of that).

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The beautiful HO layout,

 

Yes, it is.  I didn't get to see the layout when I visited (it was an announced 40 minute wait).  A pretty accurate representation of Nagoya Station, and I like how they included a model of the old Chunichi Dragons baseball stadium, which was a landmark to Shinkansen passengers passing by on the final stretch of line to the station.

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Some more shots of the museum.

 

What's the train in picture DSC05268?

 

And yeah, that layout is really nice. (But imagine how much more they could fit in N scale!  :grin )

 

(note the 2x1 seating with a separate isle down the side of the car so passengers passing through don't disturb the diners. Only the Japanese would think of that).

 

Certain other nations would have a hard time fitting three people-widths and two aisles in the width of a passenger car.... OTOH, while supersizing is part of our problem, I wonder if that arrangement could meet modern standards for accessibility.

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What's the train in picture DSC05268?

 

JNR moha 52.  It came from the now defunct Sakuma Rail Park (as did many other pieces in this collection).  The 52 series was an express type EMU of 1936, used in the Kansai area. Apparently the design was influenced by the Fliegender Hamburger.

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I spent this morning riding the JR Taketoyo Line chasing Kinuura Rinkai freights. The freight timetable proved it's worth with the timetables for the same. When I arrived at Obu two Kinuura Rinkai DE10's were parked in the yard shut down looking like the first trip of the day to Higashiura was not running, if I read the timetable correctly I assume because the loading originates on the Sangi Railway the previous evening and if they are not running Kinuura Rinkai doesn't. I proceeded on down the line anyway stopping to take photos here and there.

 

At Higashiura where I went to check out the junction for the freight branch I found an interesting little shrine next to the level crossing. Was it in moemory of someone who died in an accident I wonder?

 

At Handa I made another stop to have a look at C11 265 stuffed and mounted in the station car park before heading on to Taketoyo to say I've done the whole line.

 

When I returned the one stop to Higashinawara to see the second freight run I spotted a six floor car park at a shopping centre that turned out to be a good vantage point to watch the activities. The freight in typical Japanese style turned up at 1242 on the dot as the timetable said it would.

 

My GPS told me it was a 660 metre walk through winding back streets to the nearest Meitetsu station so I made up time and got back onto schedule by doing that instead of waiting for a train back to Taketoyo.

 

I got in Meitetsu's Kowa, Utsumi and Airport lines before dark. The Utsumi line with it's tunnels built for double track and large, elevated 4 track terminus with a rather dismal atmosphere about it way out in the boondocks of town struck me as one of those lines built before it's time that didn't live up toexpectations. After my first ride on the Meitetsu I rather like it, as mentioned elswhere, there's something different about it.

 

Spending a relaxing day in the country tomorrow on the Nagaragawa Railway

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Some dilapitated old buildings in Taketoyo. I wonder if the big shopping centres springing up everywhere are killing the smaller stores in Japan like they are at home?

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