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.

Garyubai ume blossoms at Yanagawa-Kibonomori Park, Date, March 15, 2023. 梁川希望森公园的卧龙梅花盛开。三月十五号二〇二三年。やながわ希望の森公園の臥龍梅が満開 2023年 3月15日。

(#Garyubai ume blossoms, Date, Mar. 15, 2023. #臥龍梅 伊達3/15/2023)
I got the information that Garyubai ume tree is starting to bloom, so I visited Yanagawa-Kibonomori Park in Yanagawa, Date City today. Garyubai is a special variety of ume or plum tree, which features its bending trunk and branches that looks like lying dragon. Photo above shows a single Garyubai tree in full bloom that extends its entire blossoms widely.

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A description board on site shown above says that Japan waged a war against Korea in 1592 and Date Masamune was one of the lords that went there. At the time this special proportion of Garyubai ume tree caught his attention and he brought it back to Japan. This Garyubai tree is a descendant of that tree.  

Photo above shows the blossoms from a different angle.

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(#Garyubai ume blossoms, Date, Mar. 15, 2023. #臥龍梅 伊達3/15/2023)
Photo above is a close-up view of Garyubai flower petals.

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Garyubai ume tree is in a special corner for wild plants and herbs in the park. Photo above shows the sign for the corner.

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Garyubai ume tree is located about 30-minute walk from Yanagawa-Kibonomorimae Station shown above of Abukuma-Kyuko or Abukyu Line railway. After entering into the park area, you walk to the park office then turn left right before the office building and climb a slope until you see the sign.



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(#Abukyu, train cars, Fukushima, Mar. 15, 2023. #阿武隈急行 福島3/15/2023)
I took Abukyu Line from Fukushima Station to get to Yanagawa-Kibonomorimae Station and return back today. During that time, I met four different types and colors of the train cars as shown in the pictures above. It’s great fun to see and ride those cars. All of them were of recent designs with comfortable ride.

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

Congratulations! Tadami Line full reopening. 祝贺只见线重新开始。只見線全線再開記念。2023年2月21日 公開。

JR Tadami Line (Niigata ⇔ Aizu in Fukushima) resumed its full operation in 2022 for the first time in 11 years. This video commemorates the event. Please take a look!

Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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