29 Ogos 2009

Journey to the east (part 2)

9th of August
Kobe to Tokyo
14 hours
This time, I will write about the 3rd and 4th stage of my journey to Tokyo. From Nagoya, I take the train running through the Chuo Main Line. Chuo main line is a line connecting Nagoya-Shiojiri,Nagano(塩尻、長野)-Tokyo.

Another line that connecting Nagoya and Tokyo is the Tokaido Line (which start from Shin-Osaka). Thge difference is, chuo main line go through the mountain region and much much slower than Tokaido Line (2-3 trains per hour, local and rapid). But thanks to this slow speed, the passenger's number are much lower than Tokaido Line.

3rd Stage

Red-3rd stage; Blue-4th stage (click for clearer view)


This section, is the west section of Chuo Main Line.

This line go through the mountain region. However, unlike Kansai Main Line (Kamo-Kameyama section) the line has been double tracked. Looking at the stations here (in Aichi prefecture only) the station has been renew despite not many people use it.

The OPTO is not used here. Maybe the area is not as rural as the Kamo-Kameyama section in Kansai Main Line.

I'm too bored so I took this pic

Bored with tunnel

From Nagoya, I took the rapid train to Nakatsugawa, a station in Gifu prefecture. The station is modern just like other urban area stations. Here, I have to wait for 30 minutes before departing for Shiojiri.

Shinano Express

Because I hadn't eat anything for lunch (don't have much time in Nagoya), I decided to go out for a while looking for launch. Unfortunately, no konbini or restaurant/shop that sell food that I can eat. The only shop there are Kiosk, a coffee shop, and a Soba shop.

I wanted to eat soba. But there is no seat. You must eat while standing, an option that I will not take because I'm so tired walking while carrying heavy luggage (well, it is VERY heavy for me). So, I just bought a drink.

From Nakatsugawa, I take a train (local, as there is no rapid heading for shiojiri) which use the OPTO.

Pay to the driver (one of the OPTO's feature)

The Nakatsugawa-Shiojiri section was not fully double tracked. Sometimes, we have to wait for central liner (the express train for chuo main line) to pass before we can continue our journey.

The stations in this sections are very unique. Many wooden stations are still standing. However I can't take pictures of it as the train is getting more crowded. I wish I brought someone to accompany me that time.


・Shiojiri-Takao, Yamanashi (高尾、山梨)-Tokyo

-I can't upload any map here as I don't have any complete map for this section.

I have to wait for another 30 minutes to wait the local train from Nagano to arrived before continuing my journey. This section is very popular (I think). There is so much people waiting for the train. I don't like this situation as I know it's hard to get a seat with these numbers of people.

Azusa Express

What I'm afraid of was becoming a reality as the train arrived. The train was already crowded with passengers from Nagano. I had to stand for a very long time before I get a seat.

According to the guidebook I bought, there are many switchback stations. I wanted to see the switchback operation as I never seen one before other than TV. I was disappointed as this section also mainly double tracked.

-Double tracked is one of the factor why switchback operation to climb uphill or going downhill is not used anymore.

There is one interesting feature about this section. It goes through close to the north of Mt. Fuji which mean the altitude is very high. The highest one I remembered was about 600m from sea level.

A Station with Foothbath(ashi-yu/足湯)

However, due the cloudy weather (thanks to typhoon Etau) the scenery view of Mt. Fuji can't be seen.

One the thing that make me wonder is why they don't use OPTO here? There is no many passengers here (one or two bicycles park at a station is a common view).

As the train reaching Kofu (甲府), the sky is getting dark.

From Takao, I took the Chuo Rapid (which is one of the most popular commuter train in Tokyo like the Yamanote Line).


I arrived just in time - 10pm.

The 14 hours journey was fun. The scenery was great. I wish I can travel like this again with other line.

I will upload more pics to my albumsite which can be accessed by clicking on 'The World from My Lenz' tab above.

Posted in The World Of Orcaz

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