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  1. Today, 20 December, it was officially announced that the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended from Tsuruga via Obama to Kyoto. This route was one of the final two options left, the other one being the line being extended from Tsuruga to Maibara, which would have meant that passengers for Kyoto and Osaka would have had to change at Maibara. That would have led to a longer travel time, inconvenient transfers, and even more crowded Tokaido Shinkansen trains than they are already now. The Obama - Kyoto route is however the most expensive option. During the next 5-6 years, the impact on the environment and the exact locations of the stations will be decided. The Kanazawa - Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be opened in 2022, and the aim is to have completed the whole line to Kyoto in ultimately 2046. However, there have been calls to bring this date forward, which could lead to the total costs exceeding 2 trillion yen. Sources: http://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2016122000735&g=eco http://mainichi.jp/articles/20161221/k00/00m/020/117000c http://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye2942316.htm
  2. 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
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