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miyakoji

I often think about long-haul rides on conventional lines. In particular, Aomori to Kyoto and Kyoto to Shimonoseki on the lines on the Sea of Japan. I've done most but not all of the Kyoto-to-Shimonoseki half in separate runs, but none of the northeastern part. Have any of you?

 

The parts of the San'in that I've traveled, I think were almost all worth doing by local train. What about the Tohoku/Hokuriku region? But it looks like a much longer distance, possibly double. I wonder if I'd be tempted to pay out for a limited express ticket :grin

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westfalen

I've done most of that over the last 23 years and there are some very scenic sections along the coast, but what I like about travelling up and down that side of the country is that, by Japanese standards, it's off the beaten track with hardly a Shinkansen in sight.

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bikkuri bahn

Miya, I've done the Aomori-Niigata stretch once (back in 2000 on the 485 "long bonnet" Hakucho), and the Aomori-Akita Ou Honsen stretch a couple of times (ltd. express Kamoshika/Tsugaru).  Never have done it by local train.  Like you said, the distances are long and the local trains are few, so unless you have time, better to take a ltd. express for at least a  portion of your journey.  As far as scenery, the coastal stretch along the Japan Sea between Akita and Yamagata Pref. is quite pretty in the summer months, on sunny days the beachside water is emerald green, complements the groves of coastal pines that line the area between the tracks and the beach.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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Sacto1985

I believe if you want to see the scenic San'in coast line, the best way is to ride the JR West Aqua Liner between Tottori and Masuda Stations on the San'in Main Line, but west of Masuda Station, I'm not sure how much train service is there to Shimonoseki.

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