Tuesday, August 23, 2016

# Travel ♪ The Most Romantic Train In Japan - Travel by Tadami Line - FUKUSHIMA Day 1

A Romantic Train Ride In Fukushima Japan
Tadami Line - Day 1

Do you still remember back in March we have introduced you a beautiful city up in the northeast part of Japan? If you have good memory, you should be able to recall the amazing train trip in the snow. If you can't remember, no worries, we have the link right here for you:

We were told that tourists were able to see different scenery if they take the train in different season. It is a very famous ride to enjoy the sakura flowers in spring too.

As you can remember, we traveled to Fukushima in March which was still covered by white snow. Look how amazing the view is!

Actually for our 2 days trip, we have used many different kinds of transportation like Shinkansen, local trains, buses etc. so we had a good experience just like the locals there.

From JR Tokyo Station to Koriyama Station in Fukushima
By Tohoku Shinkansen

From Koriyama Station to Aizuwakamatsu Station
By Banetsusai Line

From Aizuwakamatsu Station to Tadami Station
By Tadami Line

Note: The red part on the map is currently under reconstruction. Shuttle bus is provided to connect the stations in between.

From JR Tokyo Station to Koriyama Station in Fukushima

By Tohoku Shinkansen, it only took 84 minutes for us to get to Koriyama Station.


From Koriyama Station to Aizuwakamatsu Station

After arriving in Koriyama Station, we transferred to the Banetsusai Line, and it took about 70 minutes for us to get to Aizuwakamatsu Station. The fare was 1,144 yen.

Speaking of the train fares, you don't have to worry about that. Why? Because for foreign visitors, you can buy the JR East Pass which allows you to take any trains and shinkansen for 5 full days within 14 days period, and it only costs 22,000 yen!

More information about this pass: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_t/index.html

After arriving at Aizuwakamatsu Station, our journey in Tadami Machi started!

JR Aizuwakamatsu Station

With a long history, Aizuwakamatsu is not only famous by the manufacture of electronic products, fiber and furniture etc., it is also famous by crops and the natural landscapes they have!

Just right outside the station, we found the symbolic animal of Aizu, the red bull (Akabeko)!

About the Akabeko

It was said that long long ago, there was a big earthquake in Aizu Yanaizu area, and there was a huge loss of lives and damages. Later in 1617, the temple was decided to move to the current location, but there were lots of difficulties in moving the temple. Suddenly, many red bulls appeared in the town and helped the local bulls to move the woods, and that's how the temple was able to move to a new place successfully. After the temple was moved, these red bulls disappeared and could not be seen again! Maybe it is just a story of the Akabeko, but it surely means a lot to the locals here!

Beautiful Local Train - Tadami Line

Tadami Line was opened in 1942 and operated by JR. It is 135 km long and it runs between Aizuwakamatsu Station in Fukushima Prefecture and the Koide Station in Niigata Prefecture. There are 37 stations in total.

In March 2016, we could still see the damage caused by the typhoon in 2011. Actually 7 stations were damaged by the flood among the 37 stations.

There are buses running between these stations, so don't worry about the transportation too much.

So you may ask what's so special about the Tadami Line?

Actually this train ride has been introduced by the TV channels many times, and it also won the name "The most romantic train ride in the world" in China!!


Just looked out the window, we could see everything covered in white snow. How romantic and beautiful it was!!

We made our first stop at Aizu-Yanaizu. From Aizuwakamatsu station, it only takes an hour to get here. Just remember to get off the train at the 11th stop.

It was not a crowded station, so we could sit down and warm our hands and feet near the gas stove.

Sightseeing in Aizu-Yanaizu

1) Get the famous "Awa Manju" from the "Koike Okashi Shop"
2) Visit the Kiyoshi Saito Museum
3) Taste the local style food at "Kachan No Manmaya" Restaurant

 01. The origin of the "Awa Manju"

About 170 years ago, a monk made this steamed bun for the locals to eat to get good luck. Since than, this steamed bun became the famous souvenir for everyone!

02. Kiyoshi Saito Museum of Art in Yanaizu

Mr. Saito was born in 1907, and he was the master of woodprints. In most of his works, you can see he used many ideas from his hometown Aizu. It is a good place to visit and you can learn more about the scenery in Aizu here maybe!

Address: 187 Shitadairaotsu, Yanaizu-machi, Kawanuma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture
Opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Last admission: 16:30
Closed on every Monday (What a national holiday falls on Monday, the museum is open on Monday and closed the following day)
Admission Fee: 510 yen (Adults), 300 yen (High School to University students), 200 yen (Elementary to Junior High School students)
Access: 20 minutes walk from Aizu-Yanaizu Station
Hompage: http://www.town.yanaizu.fukushima.jp/bijutsu/en/

There is a huge collection of Mr. Saito's woodprint artworks here.

We noticed that Mr. Saito used cats in many of his works. If you are a cat lovers, these postcards are great items for you to get maybe.

By the way, do you still remember the red bulls? Actually just near the Kiyoshi Saito Museum of Art in Yanaizu, there is a place where you can make and design your own red bulls! Bring home something special and unique!

03. The Local Family Restaurant

All the food is made with local ingredients, so this restaurant is one of the best place to experience the local taste and food. Just look at the name of the restaurant, you can feel how warm it is to eat in here, "Kachan No Manmaya" (The mother's table)

It is a famous buffet restaurant for the locals here. Look how busy it was on the day that we visited.

Only 880 yen for the buffet lunch! Yes, that's right! 880 yen only!! Look how fresh the food is!

Let's see what did we have that day. We had the deep-fried tofu with potatoes, green salad, nado, deep fried chicken and other local tasted food.

Okay, time to eat! I-ta-da-ki-ma-su!

If you are on diet and do not want to eat too much, you can also make your order from their a la carte menu. We also ordered the deep fried cutlet port rice with special sauce to try that day!

After the big meal, we needed to get going to our next stop, Aizu Kawaguchi Station.

Because we needed to transfer to the shuttle bus to skip the part that was damaged by the flood, so we got off at the Aizu Kawaguchi Station.

It was a good time to try the "Awa Manju" that we just bought earlier.

Since we still got time, we decided to visit an onsen first. Actually the carbonated water is soft water here which is very rare indeed. It is said that this kind of water is especially good for cooking. Also, it is said that the water is rich in iron which is popular among the ladies.

Aizu Oshio Carbonated Water Well and Hot Spring
Access: 10 minutes walk from the Aizu Oshio Bus Stop

What a special chance to see this kind of water! Let's bring some back to the hotel for later use :)

Other than cooking, the carbonated water is used for hot spring too!

Since it is a non-profitable place, so you just need to put 300 yen into the box for the maintenance of the hot spring.

Looking out the window, we could see the white snow outside. What a nice view and relaxing time!

After getting into the hot spring, it's time for us to go to our last stop for today which was Tadami Station!

It was a little sad that we couldn't take the train to get to this station because of the damage. However, it was still a great experience for us to get here by the bus.

We stayed at a Minshuku (A budget version of hotel) "Tadamisou" that night.

It was a very beautiful night because we could see lots of stars which was really hard to see in city area like Tokyo!

We were lucky to find such a comfortable place to stay. The service was great and the staff were very nice too.

Traditional tatami room with kotatsu (a wooden table with a blanket and a heat underneath). Fridge and sink can be found too.

Even though we could not expect a luxurious dinner at a Minshuku, but the dinner prepared by the owner was still very nice.  We were told that the food was made with local ingredient. The handmade buckwheat noodles was amazing too.

Not just the food was great, the atmosphere here just made us feel like home! We loved this place!

Minshuku Tadamisou
Address: In front of Tadami Station
Price: 7,500 yen (1 person per room) per room per night (dinner and breakfast included) for Adults (Jr. High School and above), 7,000 yen for each person (2 persons per room)
Reservation (Japanese): https://ssl.formman.com/form/pc/pU59edD6Brie6zs2/

So what were waiting for us tomorrow? Come back and check out our next sharing soon!!

Good night for now!

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See you there! :)

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