Guide and information of Japan travel, with Japanese high speed Shinkansen Hayabusa, Local Hot Spring, Sightseeing in Aomori, Tohoku.
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AOMORI ONE DAY TRIP
Mt.Iwaki and Apple Field
Extra day you have, got bored in Tokyo? Tohoku One Day Trip with using special discount JR East Pass for Tohoku Area ( www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_t/ ). It is the brand new (and the fastest) Shinkansen called Hayabusa from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori (713.7km north of Tokyo) and ShinHakodateHokuto (862.5km north of Tokyo). The 1+2 seater Gran-Class looks like international business class (additional gran-class fare required on top of the pass). The 2+2 seater Green-Car is comfortable and relaxed guaranteed as well (additional green-car fare required if your pass is for 2nd class). Other seats with 2+3 seater are all-reserved (there is no un-reserved seats) on Hayabusa super express. You may enjoy one or two of several onsens listed below in Aomori-ken before taking the Shinkansen back to downtown Tokyo.
Hayabusa Shinkansen
www.jreast-shinkansen-e5.com
Hokkaido Shinkansen
JR companies used to have only 2 classes on Shinkansen service, but now upper most class called Gran-Class is introduced with stopping at Tokyo, Omiya, Sendai, Morioka and Shin-Aomori, with terminal stop at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. It is like international business class but not with full-flat nor lie-flat bed. Meal and drink is served by attendant whom can be called by pressing a bottom like international flight. Power plug is available in each seat for your iPad and mobile device. The car #10 (top front wagon if you are heading to north) has the 1+2 abreast, just 18 seats in total with all non-smoking. Train ride with Jazz on Sake?
Recommended very local onsen with special unique golden color natural spring
http://todik2.goemonburo.com/tsuruta.htm
It is located in middle of nowhere town called Tsuruda, literally Crane-Rice, in winter, there are lots of cranes resting/nesting on rice fields. Nearest JR station is Mutsu-Tsuruda which is on one of beautiful Japan Sea view local lines called Gono Line. There are 3 types of sightseeing trains (blue, green and orange) on the line, each of which has special relaxing box seats (semi compartment for 4 - 6 people, all reserved) with big window for better view. Runs between Akita - Noshiro - Kawabe - Hirosaki and Aomori.
www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ue3t-cb/spa/tarapokki/tarapokki.htm
Only a short walk distance from JR Tsurugasaka station. You will see the building on your right hand side if you approach to Tsurugasaka station from Aomori station. Open 9AM to 10PM everyday throughout the year.
In Hakodate, Hokkaido, this one is the top recommended, from the top roof onsen, you can enjoy watching airplanes landing and departing.
Akebono (City Night Line, Blue Train) only until 2014
http://hodo.blue.coocan.jp/s/burutore/akbn2/index.htm#photo
Born in 1970, this night train is one of few blue trains along with Hokutosei (finished its final run) and Hamanasu (finished the service!). Sadly, Akebono finished its route on March 15th, 2014. Thanks for the 44 years history connecting Aomori and Tokyo. Now only available in high season, yes, it became seasonal train (kisetsu ressha in Japanese, not everyday). It contains 8 cars with A berth (compartment), B berth (compartment), B berth (open to aisle, for 4 people, 2 upper + 2 lower) and Goron-To-Seat (same as open-B-berth but without linen, JR Pass holders may enjoy this carpet without surcharge, please find detailed information at www.tokyo-ryokan.com/transportation_japanrailpass.htm ). Major stops include Ueno, Omiya, Takasaki, Sakata, Akita, Higashi-Noshiro, Hirosaki, Shin-Aomori and Aomori.
Seikan Tunnel (Tsugaru Channel Tunnel connected Hokkaido and Honshu)
http://seikan-tunnel-museum.jp/
The under water tunnel was opened in 1988 with 53.85km length and 240m depth (140m sea + 100 earth). There were two underground (under channel) stations called Tappi-Kaitei station and Yoshioka-Kaitei station, but they closed by 2014. You may now only be able to reach from overground which is accessible from JR Minmaya station, the end of Tsugaru Line (only 5 trains per day up and down each direction, 10 service in total). On March 26th 2016, new line, Hokkaido Shinkansen started connecting Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (via the channel tunnel line). It is around 4 hours Hayabusa direct ride from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Aiming to Sapporo by the year 2030.
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