The excellent performace of cherry blossoms and rapeflowers! One day trip to visit the Spring at Watarase River and Ashio from Tokyo.
Today we would like to introduce you a place where visitors are able to see cherry blossoms and rapeflowers in full bloom. The place is Watarase River where located in between Gunma prefecture and the border of Tochigi prefecture which is suitable for day trip.
It took about 110 minutes on train “Ryoumou No. 1 (りょうもう1)” of Tobu Railway from Asakusa Station (7:00 departure), and get off at Aioi Station (8:51 arrival) and changed to “Watarase Keikoku Railway” which is a train in colour of brown. Please purchase your 1-day ticket at this station (1,850 yen).
Rode on depart at 9:07 train bounds for “Mato Station” with local service to Tsudo Station. Visitors are able to see Watarase River in the right hand side and cherry blossoms, rapeflowers while on the train. There were many beautiful scenery worth to see while in the train, and we will provide further information later on.
About 10:21 reached to Tsudo Station. Past through the ticket gate and turned right, 10-minutes on foot will lead you to a mine attraction, called “Ashiodouzan”. (Admission fee: 820 yen per adult)
Rode on Light Rail Vehicle will take visitors to tour the mine. The ceiling of the vehicle is pretty low, I wondering where are they going to take us to!?
After 1 minute will reach to the terminal...is that it?! Well, the Light Rail Vehicle runs about 700 meters only, and visitors have to visit the place on foot about 10 minutes.
Here is Ashio of Tochigi prefecuture, and also famous for its mine. Unfortunately the place had suffered from poison in the Meiji-Period, and has a museum presents the past statements and history in order to learn the lessons from the past.
After visited the mine, I took 11:35 train toward to Mato Station. Although there were not any speical attractions in the terminal, but it's my hobit to ride the train until the terminal as a railfan.
There were some discard and unused steels on the road and mountains covered with snow in the terminal. Although it doesn't have much popular scenery, but fresh air with lovely sound from the river water will definitely makes people full in love with the natural environment.
Afterwards I rode on 12:22 local service train back to “Goudo Station (神戶)”. (the Kangi is the same as “Kobe” of Hyogo-prefecture, but has different pronunciation).The station is build in wood with natural surroundings, please experience if you have chance to come here.
The restaurant at the train is called “Seiryuu”, it is a carriage where guests can enjoy the meal in a remembrance of times past atmosphere.
I had a lunch box called “Yamato pork rice (やまと)” (1,030 yen) and also received some souvenirs from this trip, as well as curry rice and noodles available.
Took Light Rail Vehicle again from Goudo Station departed at 14:46. (The vehicle runs in weekends and holiday only, and need to pay extra 510 yen for a ride)
There were large windows in both sides of the train, so the carriage looks spaciously huge. Our final stop was “Oomama Station”.
The sceond stop from Goudo Station where is near Nakano Station, and you can see full bloom of cherry blossoms in your right hand side. The beautiful scenery looks like a natural cherry blossom curtains on the train.
The third station is Motojuku Station where you will able to see full bloom rapeflowers gorgeously.
The terminal was Oomama Station where visitors can change to local service or Tobu express train back to Tokyo.
The best timing to make one day trip to Watarase River and Ashio is mid-April. You must experience the special trip if you have any chance.
※Based on the travel schedule showed above, the ticket for “Watarase Keikoku Railway” is 2,360 yen. Day trip ticket is 510 yen cheaper per adult, in order to avoid ticket purchasing time.
※Light Rail Vehicle tickets must be purchased 1 month before 11:00 in advance. Tickets for Watarase Keikoku Railway to Oomama Station and Tsudo Station need to be purchased at “Green window” of JR train stations.
※There are bus service to one of the famous World Heritage Nikkon available at Tsudo Station near the mine. People who want to visit Nikko can go directly, however buses are not always available. (buses depart to Nikko at 11:07,13:17,15:37,17:52, and about 1 hourway)
writer ： makoa187jp
Deep knowledge of railway, and believes trains are not just as simiple as a transportation, also an enjoyment of a journey. Have a lot of experiences writing articles regards railway travel, and high knowledgement of season foliage. Visited about 50 hot springs so far.