Friday, 1 April 2011

A Scenic Ride On The Gono Line Part II

Plenty of people start their small talk with me with "So, you can't go to Japan this year?" lately. My answer has always been - "Why not? It's not as if the whole of Japan were affected. Things look pretty normal elsewhere, other than the North East of Japan." Call me reckless. Whatever. I live dangerously, me. XD

Check out daily Tokyo radiation level over at Metropolis.

I would head to Japan now just to show them, if I can. Unfortunately, the trip this year isn't a sure thing yet. No mention of an acceptable (read:cheap) airfare from any airlines yet. As a matter of fact, JAL had kind of retracted its promo fare that is supposed to come out today. Boo! And with some legal fees that Zaini and I need to settle some time soon, the cashflow is a bit tight for us at the moment. Well, there's always next year, I say. Though if we opted to not go this year, it'll be the first time since 2006 that we missed out on our yearly vacation to Japan.

Anyway, a continuation of previous post. On the previous post, I posted up photos of the coastline view on the Gono Line, taking the Resort Shirakami train - Buna. The train also travels through the countryside not only showcasing the beautiful vistas of the Japan Sea; the trip also highlights the Shirakami Sanchi highlands, as well as expansive panoramas of the Tsugaru Plain.
If you ever come to this part of Japan, why not get on-board one the Resort Shirakami trains and enjoy the view. The train trip is covered by both JR Pass and JR East Pass, for us visitors. :)

One can also get a glimpse of culture  as on certain trips as there will be live shamisen performance on-board selected trains.

More reason to get on them and experience it yourself. :-)

If you want to see their performance, make sure you board the earlier trains and not the last ones of the day.


  1. Yup, things out here in Kansai and western Japan are fine! Visiting Japan is also a good way to support the economy.

  2. I would have no hesitation in visiting Japan any time soon!!

    Japan Australia

  3. @Blue Shoe,
    Hear hear!

    I've been telling people that and yet most people seems to think either whole of Japan had been flattened down or the whole population is down with radiation.

  4. @Japan Australia,
    Me too!

    Pass me a return ticket anf I'll jump at the chance to be there. :p

  5. Yeah, there are parts not affected. I read that Fukuoka is quite a nice place to visit.

  6. @HappySurfer,
    Fukuoka and the whole island of Kyushu is nice, as do the whole of Japan. ^^

    I'm going to post up a bit about our trip there soon. Anyway, remember my post about the Moji train station and Mekari Park. Those are in Kyushu. :)

  7. I see, you are a frequent traveler to Japan?!! Initially I thought you might be a student, but since your boy is tagging along then you are highly likely a tourist!^-^

    If you ever make it this year, wishing you a beautiful journey and wonderful trip in advance!;D

  8. @Alice,
    Actually, there are plenty of Malaysian post-grad student studying in Japan with their children tagging along too. ^^

    Not really a frequent traveller lah... just once a year only. XD

    Thanks for the wish. We might have to adjust our initial plan if we are to make it this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. :)

  9. I wouldn't mind going to Japan at all.
    Just that it's banyak leceh to apply for their visas.

    I heard from the news that even if you have Japanese PR, you need to get a special stamp before you leave the country so that you can re-enter Japan without any problems in the future.

    What type of PR is that huh?

  10. Tokyo's not that bad off either. It's a bit dim at night and some conbini's have issues with restocking in time (but compared to back home it's at a "normal level XD), but all you have to do is trot over to the next one if you can't find what you're looking for. ;)
    People really do like to make a big fuss where it's not needed, don't they? More fuss over the affected areas of Tohoku pleeeeease!
    And now that this off-tangent is done, lovely pics - I love trains that go by the water!! ^^)b

  11. @London Caller,
    Oh! Don't get me started about applying a visa to Japan. It used to be rather easy and now, damn hard to get one. All the documentations! But hey! At least they are free! I sometimes wish they do it like the Chinese Embassy. Easy peasy. Just as long as you fork out money, can even get two-years multi-entry visa. XD

    Someone with PR should answer your question... ^^

  12. @Ri,
    Yes!!! More fuss over to that area, please!

    I've been going around the office trying to "educate" people to care more about the victims that need shelter, food, financial assistance rather than for us; a few thousand miles away being paranoid about radiation.

    Some people are talking about how it unsafe it must be anywhere in Japan, and these same people don't even know where Tohoku or Fukushima is located within Japan.

    I can die of cancer just by second-hand smoke, and nobody bats an eye at that!

  13. Hallo1 Your comments to London Caller were very interesting. So I had seen your blog a few times and I thought you were Japanese. Today I read your blogs carefully. And I found that you are not Japanese. It was kind of suprise. Your blogs are very interesting for me. Can I read your blogs constantly? Is your family eternal traveller?

  14. @minor,
    Ha! I get that a lot - either I'm Japanese, living in Japan pr used to live in Japan.
    Well, none of the above folks.

    Thank you and I'm glad you find my blog interesting. Likewise, for yours too.

    Please do come visit often... Your visits here is much appreciated and do drop more comments too. I love comments.

    Aren't we all eternal travelers? ^^

  15. Got radiation still dare to go ah!? Food and water is another scarce commodity in Japan now. Wait for good news before taking a holiday there.

  16. I agree with previous comments. how to radiation in Japan?

  17. @ECL & Bali,
    No offense but is the radiation all over Japan? And is it at a deadly level? Are food scarce in the whole Japan now that there is a state of emergency in, again the WHOLE OF JAPAN?

    How about the economy and well-being of people depending on the tourism economy in places not at all affected in the rest of Japan? Is Kyushu or Okinawa even near Tohoku?

    There is radiation in our daily life too. Has it ever stop me from taking an plane ride anywhere? Has it stop anyone from smoking or taking x-rays at the hospital or dentist, use wrist watches, handpphones, ionization smoke detectors? There are even radiation in fungal toxins in food, viruses, and even heat.

    We have radioactive elements (Potassium 40, Carbon 14, Radium 226) in our blood or bones anyway.

  18. East Coast Life and bali,
    unless Lina is going to visit the evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear power plant, there is NO radiation worry. And as far as I know, Lina is NOT planning a trip to visit a crippled nuclear reactor.

    London Caller,
    the stamp you are referring to is called a "re-entry permit" and actually, many countries require such a thing for resident visa holders in order to re-enter after a trip abroad. I agree, it's a major PITA, but it's not unique to Japan.
    And if you think that applying for a Japanese visa is a hassle, you should try for a visa to the US or Russia ;-)

  19. @Anna,
    Yes, I have absolutely no plan in joining the Fukushima 50 just yet.

    But oh! oh! Should I be worried about visiting Tochigi then? XD

    True! Getting an visa to US is such a PITA! London Caller - have you ever seen the queues at the US Embassy in Jalan Tun Razak? I might as well run across and head to Japan Embassy instead. Even though I have to go through a metal detector, surrender whatever weapons I might have (I usually pass them my keys and handphone) I don't need to spend the day in front of the guard house. :D

  20. Tochigi? Well, don't you know? Not only do we glow in the dark now, but that third arm that grew the other day - it's actually quite useful!

  21. @Anna,
    The third arm sure make replying to comments and posting much faster now, eh? XD

    I'm hoping to grow an eye at the back of my head so I can always see when Raimie is doing something he shouldn't be doing behind my back. LOL

  22. Shamisen.

    Nice, I just googled to learn more about it. Very interesting that they have that in the train.

  23. @Bella,
    Isn't it just?

    There are many types on interesting sighseeing trains in Japan, if you look for them. ^^

    And for us tourists, we can enjoy them at a fraction of cost with purchase of either JR Pass or their regional passes.

  24. why not visit other countries besides Japan? korea is a good option to consider.

  25. What "re-entry permit"?
    It's so bureaucratic.
    I have a British PR status.
    But British immigration doesn't even check your passports when you leave the country.

  26. @LR,
    The same reason we return year after year. Because we love Japan. Visiting other countries would be second to Japan at all times.

    You might not understand that, but hey... I don't blame you. ^^


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