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.

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!


Tadami Snow Festival 2023, February 10-11, 2023. 只见的老家庙会二〇二三。二月十号和十一号二〇二三年。只見ふるさとの雪まつり2023年 2月10-11日。

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(# Tadami Snow Festival, Tadami, Feb. 10, 2023. #只見雪まつり 只見2/10/2023)
February 10-12th are Tadami Snow Festival days including the Festival Eve on the 10th. This year’s festival features commemoration of full resumption of Tadami Line operation last year for the first time in 11 years as well as the festival’s 50th anniversary. Photo above shows a gigantic snow sculpture of Tadami Line train at the venue right next to JR Tadami Station. A life-size front of the train is on the left and a train running through elevated Kanotsu River Bridge is placed on the upper part.

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(# Tadami Snow Festival, Tadami, Feb. 10, 2023. #只見雪まつり 只見2/10/2023) 
Entrance gate to the venue was created with a large snow sculpture as shown above.

(# Tadami Snow Festival, Tadami, Feb. 11, 2023. #只見雪まつり 只見2/11/2023)
Tadami line train made by snow looks running through an elevated bridge over the festival’s main stage in a photo above.

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(# Tadami Line, Kanotsu Bridge, Tadami, Feb. 10, 2023. #只見線 叶津川橋梁 只見2/10/2023)
The model of the snow sculpture is a train running over the Kanotsu River Bridge in Tadami Town. A photo above shows a real view as of Feb. 10th. This section was also suspended operation for 11 years. It was a freezing cold day with snow when I took this picture. We cannot see the Kanotsu River because of 1.8m-high snow wall in front.

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(# Tadami Snow Festival, Tadami, Feb. 10, 2023. #只見雪まつり 只見2/10/2023)
In the evening of the Eve, illumination started on the snow sculpture as shown above. You can see staff members still preparing for the coming projection mapping event amid the falling snow.

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(# Tadami Line Kiha-Kun, Tadami, Feb. 11, 2023. #只見線 キハ君 只見2/11/2023)
Photo above shows Tadami Line mascot character, Kiha-Kun, which is named after the train car model Kiha series.

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Finally, I left Tadami on the 11th Saturday taking the afternoon train to Aizuwakamatsu. As you see in a photo above many passengers were waiting to take the train. Most of the seats were occupied until the train reached the final destination, which is a happy news for Japan Railway.

Today, I used Tadami Town’s new public demand taxi service to get to Kanotsu Bridge and back to Tadami Station (about 10 minutes each). This was the second time I used this service. It’s called “snow taxi” and the fare was 200 yen each. It’s grateful that even people outside the town can use this convenient and inexpensive service. (Only on weekdays.)

I stayed overnight at Minakawa Ryokan (Inn) just 5-minute walk from the festival venue. The inn provides a double discount for government tourism support subsidies and Tadami Line supporter’s discount.

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