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You know its getting close to the trip when the kids start watching YouTube "Only in Japan" : Chadbag July 2019

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Kiha66

Great photos!  I love those Kobe Subway cars, I've never seen them before!  Time to see if I can find them on hobbysearch...

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chadbag

Yesterday we went to a beach near Kobe for a few hours, where I ended up getting a sunburned neck.  I had a hat with the the back flap that hangs down, s probably neglected the sunscreen.  But the hat came off when I was in the water, so it did not help all that much.

 

public beach with Awajishima island in the background.

 

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I then went with the kids from Kobe to Umeda as they wanted to do a bit of shopping at Yodobashi (I posted my score last night).  Another different Kobe subway and then a Hankyu express to Umeda.

 

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Coming back we took a JR Special Rapid (JR 223 series) to Sannomiya and then the Kobe Subway home.  Yet another different train on the Kobe Subway.

 

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Today we went to Kyoto and then rode the Eizan Electric Railway.  Unfortunately, I've been having some problems syncing a good majority of the photos from my phone to the Mac tonight, so I'll have to post those later.   I also need to get my Sony A6300 out of the suitcase and into action 🙂

 

 

 

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chadbag

So, today, we left the house (the kids and I -- the wife was with her mom for her treatment today) and we took the Kobe Subway to Shin-Kobe.  There we got an non-reserved seat on an N700A -- I don't remember what sort of service it was off hand -- and went to Shin Osaka.  There we waited and stood in line for a non reserved seat on the Hello Kitty Shinkansen Kodama.  The main car with seats that has been done up, the Kawaii car, was car 2 and is non-reserved.  We were the second group in line and easily were able to get our choice of seats.  A nice grandma was in line behind us with her daughter and 2 granddaughters (ages 2 and 4).  She spoke to me and asked where we were form in quite good English.  I told her the US, and she asked where, so I told her Utah.  She said it was hot here and asked if Utah was cold?  I said it was hot too but not as humid.  We chatted for a while before we got on the train.  Later, she came and helped my daughter get some free post cards that you could get if you took a small quiz on Okayama.  She knew my daughter would probably like the cards and had no clue on how to answer questions on Okayama at all, and especially in Japanese.  It was a nice gesture.  On the train, car 1 was a small store selling various Hello Kitty themed things and there was also a few seats with crayons and activities for kids.  Car 2 had seats but had a photo op area up front with a large Kitty figure you could pose with.  It was well done.

 

We rode to Fukuyama, which on a Kodama is about 90 minutes.  Then we took our reserved seats Sakura back to Shin Osaka, which was only 64 minutes.  Though we have Green Car passes, we were not able to get Green Car seats on the Sakura.  But the ordinary reserved seats on a Sakura are 2+2 and larger than the JR Central ordinary N700 seats and quite nice.  Once we got to Shin Osaka we got received Green Car seats on a Thunderbird to Kyoto, and received Green Car seats on a Haruka back to Shin Osaka later in the early evening.  In Kyoto we took a 221 local on the Sagino Line to the Kyoto Railway Museum, where we were for a little over a hour and a half.  It is a way cool museum.  My daughter was excited and looked at everything and tried out as many of the "do it yourself" activities that they had.  My son has come down with an ear infection (luckily my BIL is an MD and he had a few days worth of anti-biotics he gave us after diagnosing him).  So my son looked at a bunch of trains, and then sat down and waited for us.

 

So after the museum we took the Haruka back to Shin Osaka.  Unfortunately it was not a Hello Kitty Haruka (though we did see on in Tennoji later) though the headrest linens were "Hello Kitty Haruka".  At Shin Osaka we caught the Panda Kuroshio in non-reserved cars.  We did not have a lot of time so we just went to Tennoji.  We grabbed something to eat there and took a Haruka back to Shin Osaka, and there a JR West N700 Kodama (which arrived as a Sakura) back to Shin Kobe, and took the subway back to my wife's sister's house.  It was a long day.  About 13 hours door to door.  But we saw and rode a lot.

 

I have a bunch of pictures but the phone is not cooperating right now with uploading them to iCloud so I can get them on the computer.  I also finally took the A6300 Sony camera out and took a bunch of pictures with that.  I'll get them copied off the memory card in the morning.  My wife is nagging me to shower (I sweat like a pig all day in the 90F+ and very high humidity we have now here).  And we have to get up and catch the Shinkansen to Tokyo in the morning.  The start of our journey to Hokkaido, where we head Sunday from Tokyo.

 

So no pics for now.  I'll post a bunch fro yesterday and today when I can get them off the phone.

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serotta1972

Wow, what a day!  Sounds like one of my days in Japan and you have kids in tow.  Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures.  I think my 4 year old will be tagging along on my next trip to Japan.  

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cteno4

Wow that was a day, your kids are troopers, especially with an ear infection!

 

jeff

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chadbag

Leaving the computer sitting, plugged in, over night, seems to have fixed the photo sync issue at first glance.  I'll check tonight at the hotel in Tokyo and upload some more photos of the Eizan and yesterday's adventures.

 

One thing I forgot to mention is that going into Kyoto I noticed a container freight yard.  I did not get my phone out in time to get some pics, but on the way out I got some pics (albeit from a moving train so not that great of shots) and also as we went into Shin Osaka there was another container freight yard.  Saw lots of KoKi 104, 106, 107 and trains of mixed lots of all 3 of those.  The 104s seemed to have more containers on them than the 106/107 but that was probably just a quick observation not really grounded in reality.  Yesterday, as well as previous days, lots of EF66-100 (new look EF66) pulling container trains, as well as EF210.  Probably others.

 

8 hours ago, serotta1972 said:

Wow, what a day!  Sounds like one of my days in Japan and you have kids in tow.  Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures.  I think my 4 year old will be tagging along on my next trip to Japan.  

 

It is easier when the kids are old enough to kind of be semi-independent (still need to keep a sharp eye on them).  Ages 11 and 16.

 

I've been doing "solo" (me, without wife) day trips in Japan since my son was old enough to tag along -- probably around 6 or 7.  Then my daughter started coming along when she was around 7 or 8.  We take off for the day and go train riding, or visit a museum or something.  (Based near Osaka in Amagasaki) In the past we've done (my son and I) trips to Nagasaki and Hiroshima (not the same day) to visit the bomb museums and ride the trains, as well as Kure (by Hiroshima) to the Yamato museum (both kids and me) and Tokyo for the Yushukan military museum, and actually we've been to Tokyo on day trips more than once.  And trips to Hakata just because.  And trips north of Tokyo a few stops to hit JR East Shinkansen.  My son has been gung-ho on Japanese trains since he was old enough to start thinking on his own 🙂 -- probably around 3 or so and used to spend countless hours watching Japanese train DVDs and playing with his PLA RAIL.  So when we would come he would want to ride all the trains he knew from the DVDs.  Even now, at the "cool" age of 16, while his interest has waned some, he still likes the trains and in fact made videos of himself entering the Kitty Chan train and inside and took lots of photos, and he bought himself a pink Kitty Chan Shinkansen mug.

 

6 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Wow that was a day, your kids are troopers, especially with an ear infection!

 

They were tired by the end but did not complain.  My daughter was hung ho about the museum and all the had-on exhibits as well as by the Hello Kitty and Panda trains.  The next few days will be a little quieter.  Today a ride to Tokyo.  They want to visit the Pokemon Max Center and we'll hit a gachapon - only store in Akihabara we always go to and Yodobashi Akiba before heading to Hakodate (via Aomori for a few hours of festival) on Sunday.  And then to Sapporo for a few days and then back via Sendai.  So while we will ride lots of new trains, the goal is to actually get somewhere, and the wife will be with as a family, so more doing things non-train related while on this excursion, and not so intense.

 

I think most of the intense train riding is done with (as opposed to actually going somewhere) but my daughter said she wants to hit the Hello Kitty Shinkansen again.  I've been wanting to find the Hello Kitty Haruka (which seem to be hit or miss and they no longer list any schedule for them since June 23).  So maybe when we are back next week from Hokkaido (for a couple days) we might try and see what we can find.

 

A few random pics to sig off with (just grabbed quickly from the photos list).  We have to be out of here in 70 minutes if we want to catch our reserved seats on the Shinkansen.

 

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katoftw

I had the same observations about the kokis on the Sanyo and Tokaido lines. 106s and 7s with a few 4s dotted throughout.

 

In Kyushu, is was mainly maroon and blue kokis. But last there in 2017. So the maroons might be all gone.

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chadbag

Got the computer set up.  We are in Sapporo for a couple days.  Spent one night in Hakodate.  Leaving Hakodate for Sapporo on the Super Hokuto we went through a rail yard full of DF200 and EH800.  Also saw a bunch of KoKi.  Again, mostly 104 and 107 for the ones I could see as we passed.  Didn't see any 106 but they could have been there.  At first I did not have my phone out (and the mirrorless A6300 Sony was packed away)  as I was not expecting this rail yard but I was able to get some shots from the moving train of DF200 and EH800 and on container train that was sitting at a station we stopped at.  Not a lot of container shots as they were first before we got to the locomotives.

 

 

 

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katoftw

The second photo is a 106. Handbrake wheel on side.

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chadbag
24 minutes ago, katoftw said:

The second photo is a 106. Handbrake wheel on side.

 

Thanks.  We were moving and I did not get a good look at all the KoKi, though I did try and see as many of them as I could.  There were obviously several I did not get a look at as we started to accelerate out of (or maybe decelerate into the station where it was parked -- I don't remember)

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chadbag

Making baumkuchen at the Shiroi factory in Sapporo.   The person at the top is creating the baumkuchen a layer at a time (and six long rolls are being made on the same machine).  Person at the bottom is applying a glaze (by the looks of things)

 

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maihama eki

I think more baumkuchen is made and sold in Japan now than in Germany.  Our Japanese friends gave us one as a gift the last time we were there, and I seem to see it everywhere.

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Kamome
On 8/3/2019 at 1:22 PM, katoftw said:

In Kyushu, is was mainly maroon and blue kokis. But last there in 2017. So the maroons might be all gone.

Usually 106 and 107s but there’s still a number of 104s in the rakes.  Still on occasion see some blue 100-103s but these are less common.

 

Most goods in Northern Kyushu is pulled by EH500s but there’s the odd ED76-1000, but my favorite has to be the stainless steel EF81 303.

 

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chadbag

So, my son was looking at his phone last night and went into the Apple Maps app.  It centered on where we are, and he saw a Shinkansen line literally in my sister-in-law's back yard (next street over) and he asked if this was right?  As there is certainly no Shinkansen track on the next street over.  I said there must be some mistake and looked on my phone, which, of course, showed the same thing.  So we asked, and my brother-in-law (sister-in-law's husband) said that yes, the Shinkansen ran through a tunnel basically in their back yard.  I've never noticed anything (sound, rumble, etc) but they said sometimes you can hear or feel something.   It must be faint (and rare).

 

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cteno4

Get out the shovel!

 

jeff

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railsquid

I once lived in an apartment building on a road under which Tokyo's Tozai line runs, I noticed after a while that when lying on the bed with an ear to the pillow you could hear the trains rumbling, but very very faintly and nothing you'd normally notice.

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chadbag
Posted (edited)

I went for a walk tonight along that road.  I think I faintly heard a Shinkansen go underneath us.  Very faint and hard to hear but the night is quiet.  Of course, it could have been something else as well.

 

Also rode a "Super Hakuto" today from Sannomiya to Osaka (Umeda).  It came in and I was not sure we could go on it (no JR logo and I did not know if there were non-reserved seats as it was only displayed in Japanese in small kanji or kana) but a western girl who was standing in front of us asked the Japanese conductor guy who was stepping out of the cab and he asked if she had a JR Pass and she said yes and he nodded affirmatively, so we followed her on and found some seats.  No conductor came before we got to Osaka and got off, but I looked it up and learned that it is run by a Third Sector railway "Chizu Express" in conjunction with JR West and since we are deep in JR West territory, running on JR tracks the pass seems to be good on it, and we happened to get on one of the two the non-reserved cars, so all was good.   It is a "HOT7000" DMU.

 

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Also, the other day, we noticed something interesting.  Some birds had made a nest and had little ones on the top of a hanging clock right above and slightly in front of the self-service ticket machines.   The station staff left the birds alone and put a cardboard box under the birds to catch the poop.

 

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Edited by chadbag

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chadbag
Posted (edited)

Our last Shinkansen ride of the trip. To Tokyo.  We fly home Thursday the typhoon-gods willing.  

 

We bought ekibens for the trip.  I didn't actually want one but my daughter wanted a specific one but didn't actually want the food in it so I sucked  it in/up and got it and ate the food in it.  (Which was actually pretty good -- that shredded beef short ribs and sauce stuff you see all over Japan mainly).   But it only came with a spork.  No hashi.  

 

(Sorry for the upside down shot -- couldn't see how to easily rotate it on my phone)

 

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Now for a couple  days Disneyland and a long fight with wicked sucky LAX layover.  

Edited by chadbag
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cteno4

Did your daughter at least eat the hello kitty?

 

jeff

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chadbag
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

Did your daughter at least eat the hello kitty?

 

jeff

 

No.  I think she had one in her own ekiben which was the "Hello Kitty Osaka Loop Line" one, which did not come in a nice ceramic train, but rather the normal foam board ekiben container with a fancy Hello Kitty sleeve.  

 

We just left Nagoya.  Max speed in his area is about 175 mph it appears (based on the GPS app I used to measure)

Edited by chadbag

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chadbag

We have a ceramic Dr Yellow ekiben container at home very similar to this one, which will join it soon. 

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chadbag

We're back.  Got home (to the house) around 11:30pm last night and into bed at 1:30am.  I have a ton of train and other photos I'll get posted over the next few days/weeks 🙂

 

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