Congratulations! Ban-etsu West Line full reopening, April 1, 2023. 恭喜磐越西线重新全通车! 四月一号二〇二三年。祝! 磐越西線全線再開 2023年 4月1日。

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(#Nigori River Bridge, Kitakata, April. 1, 2023. #濁川橋梁 喜多方4/1/2023)
Today, Nigori River Bridge for Ban-etsu West Line train reopened. It has been closed since a part of the bridge collapsed due to a heavy rainfall last August. A bridge pier was reconstructed with a new concrete structure and some other old ones were repaired. Photo above shows a train from Yamato Station this morning running safe and stable on the repaired bridge toward Kitakata. (Viewpoint 2 in the map.) A white pier right under the train is the new one. You can see the scaffolding still remains. Nigori River Bridge is located about 20-minute walk west from JR Kitakata Station.
本日は、磐越西線の濁川橋梁が再開通する記念の日です。昨年8月の豪雨で橋の一部が崩落し不通になっていました。橋脚の1つが新たにコンクリート製で建設され、周囲の橋脚も修理されました。写真は、今朝山都駅から喜多方への列車が安全に通過する様子です。列車の真下の白い橋脚が新規です。建設用の足場も残っています。関係者全員に感謝です! 濁川橋梁は、JR喜多方駅から西に歩いて20分ほどにあります。

To commemorate this event, all the station staffs were sending off the train showing congratulation banner at Aizuwakamatsu Station. (Picture above.)  

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(#Nigori River Bridge, Kitakata, April. 1, 2023. #濁川橋梁 喜多方4/1/2023)
Photo above shows the bridge and a train seen from the opposite side. (Viewpoint 1 in the map.)

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On the way back to Kitakata Station I found a starting point of Nicchusen cherry blossoms street as shown above. It just barely started to bloom. The best time will be a week later onward.

The exact GPS locations and route are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with click and scroll.

Welcome back Tadami train at Bridge No.8, January 19, 2023. 欢迎只见线列车的再来到第八桥梁。一月十九号二〇二三年。おかえり只見線第八橋梁に2023年 1月19日。

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(#Tadami Line, Bridge No.8, Tadami, Jan. 19, 2023. #只見線 第八橋梁 只見1/19/2023)
Tadami Line train is back again at Bridge No.8 over the Tadami River. Photo above shows a view from Yoriiwa Bridge, Tadami. Tadami Line train, the bridge, Mt. Gamo (828m), and the Tadami River are all in the picture. The train running on this bridge came back last October for the first time in 11 years since devastating rainfall disaster in 2011. Yoriiwa Bridge is about 10-minute walk from Aizu-shiozawa Station of JR Tadami Line.

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(#Tadami Line, Bridge No.8, Tadami, Jan. 19, 2023. #只見線 第八橋梁 只見1/19/2023)
Some other photos as the train approached closer are shown above. The train looked longer and reflected on the water.

Today, I used Tadami Town’s new public demand taxi service to get to Yoriiwa Bridge and back to Tadami Station. It’s called “snow taxi” and the fare was 200 yen each. Even people outside the town can use this convenient and inexpensive service. It’s a perfect service!

Right next to Tadami Station square, preparation work for the coming Tadami Snow Festival on February 11th-12th was under way. Massive amount of snow is carried to the venue as shown above for making a large snow sculpture. This year’s theme is Tadami Line came back.

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On the way back to my home, I took the last Tadami Line train at 6 p.m. bound for Aizuwakamatsu. Photos above show the train. In today’s day trip I was grateful that all the people’s walking spaces on platforms, crosswalk, and station front areas were carefully cleared up of snow. Station staff told me that every day snow clearing group work hard for the safety of train users.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with click and scroll.

Mid-winter scenery in Fukushima City: Robai blossoms and swans, January 22, 2020. (福島市の冬の風物: 花見山のロウバイ、岡部の白鳥、2020年1月22日。)

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(Swan habitat, Okabe, Fukushima, January 22, 2020. 白鳥飛来地 岡部 福島 1/22/2020)
I visited Fukushima City today and enjoyed typical mid-winter local scenery. Photo above was swan habitat along the Abukuma River at Okabe. I found nearly 100 swans in total at the site. There are many swan habitats along the river in winter season across Fukushima Prefecture from Shirakawa in the south to Date in the north. As far as I know, this one is the largest along the river.
嬉しいな あの声・すがた 渡り鳥

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(Robai blossoms, Hanamiyama, Fukushima, January 22, 2020. ロウバイ 花見山 福島 1/22/2020)
I also visited Hanamiyama Park in the city and found Robai or wintersweet blossoms as shown above. This is a rare flowering tree in mid-winter which came from China.

There stood a stone monument just next to the Robai trees near the trailhead, inscribed with a poem which said “Robai blossoms bloom after a storm from Azuma Mountains is gone”.

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I also found sasanqua camellia blossoms as shown above which was another popular flowering tree in winter.

Both sites are located about 20-minute local bus ride from JR Fukushima Station as you can see in the map below.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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