Aizu Railway Revaty in Minamiaizu, Dec. 20, 2017 (会津鉄道 リバティ 南会津を走る 2017年12月20日)

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Today I visited Minamiaizu covered with snow by taking Aizu Railway from Aizuwakamatsu to Nakaarai Station. Photo shows a limited express Revaty running through snow covered fields under a winter blue sky. The train was from Asakusa, Tokyo headed for Aizutazima, the center of Minamiaizu Town. The location of the photo was between Nakaarai and Aizutazima shown as viewpoint 1 in the map below.
本日は、会津若松から会津鉄道に乗り、中荒井で降り、雪化粧の南会津を訪ねました。写真は、特急リバティが冬晴れの空の下を走る姿です。列車は、東京・浅草を出発し、南会津の中心地、会津田島に向かうところです。写真は、中荒井と会津田島の間で撮りました。(下の地図のviewpoint 1です。)

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Then I walked toward south and took other pictures as shown above, a local train and another Revaty bound for Asakusa, at viewpoint 2.
そこから南に歩き、普通列車と、浅草行の別のリバティを撮りました(viewpoint 2)

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I walked further south to near Aizuarakai Station (viewpoint 3) and shot a rapid train called Aizu Mount Express as shown above.
更に南に歩き、会津荒海駅の近くで、快速会津マウントエクスプレス号の写真です。(viewpoint 3)

Finally, I took a short video of another Revaty from Asakusa at the same viewpoint 3, as shown above. I think you can feel the image of the train running.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Cycling event “Hashitte-mippe” in Minamiaizu Town, July 17, 2017 (走ってみっぺ南会津!サイクリングに参加 2017年7月17日)

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I participated in a cycling event “Hashitte-mippe” or “let’s go cycling” held in Minamiaizu Town on July 17th, 2017 which was a national holiday “Marine Day”. The route covered western part of the town area, which was mostly mountainous with green forests and rivers making it really refreshing to ride. About 700 cycling fans gathered for the event from across Japan including many from Tokyo metropolitan area. A photo above shows Byobuiwa Site with rocky landscape along the upper stream of the Ina River. The site was located at the southwestern end of the route near the border with Hinoemata Village. We had a light lunch and a short break on the rock at this aid station.

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A photo above shows a scene just before the start at Takatsue ski resort located 950m above sea level.

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Major part of the cycling route ran south to north along the Ina River which was beautiful as shown above. Many anglers enjoyed ayu fishing soaking into the river.

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At a roadside station “Kirara 289” located along national Route 289 in the northwestern part of the town, new wooden bike stands which were made from local wood were installed as shown above.

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Luckily I could successfully complete the course and got the certificate as shown above. The last 3km hill climb to the goal was extremely hard for me being already exhausted.

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The day before, I packed my bike and traveled to Aizukogen-0zeguchi Station which was the nearest to the event site, although it still took another 18km bike tour including a mountain pass to get to the site. I was lucky that I could experience a new limited express train “Revaty” as shown above between Aizutajima and Aizukogen-Ozeguchi Station introduced from just last April. The limited express train was comfortable and required no extra charge between the two stations.

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Also on return trip, I could again take the limited express Revaty which came from Asakusa, Tokyo. Photo above shows the train coming into Aizukogen-Ozeguchi Station where I got on.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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You can play back the route and altitude on the map below.

Snow scenery at Minamiaizu Town, Feb. 22, 2017 (南会津の雪景色 2017年2月22日)

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Today I visited Minamiaizu Town which is located in the southern area of Aizu Region. Aizu Railway runs through the area and the railroad track extends all the way to Asakusa Tokyo. Photo above shows snow scenery at Okuaizu History Museum which is about 20-minute walk from Sansondojo Station. An old tea house and traditional farmers' houses are preserved in this complex, all of which are from Edo Period more than 200 years ago. All the houses were covered with deep snow today due to heavy snowfall over the past few days. The old tea house in the picture is called Sannojaya which was originally located at Sanno Pass on the border between Tochigi Pref. and Fukushima during Edo Period. It was once burnt down by Boshin Civil War but was rebuilt soon afterward on the site and then moved to here for preservation. This house is being used today as soba restaurant and cafe during all season. In fact I had a delicious soba noodle and Shingoro or rice ball with miso paste for lunch at here today.

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Photo above shows today's Aizu Railway train running powerful through a snow field. From April 21 of this year, a brand new super express train "Revaty" is scheduled to connect Asakusa, Tokyo and Aizutajima, Minamiaizu Town directly without changing trains. This may greatly push tourism in this region.

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