Travel Reports by Villagemayor view profile of Villagemayor

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Note: The opinions and views expressed in this user report are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of japan-guide.com.

October 19, 2018 - Tohoku Series: Gono Line

This travel report is a continuing series highlighting the various destinations of the Tohoku Region. In this report I traveled along a very scenic rail route called the Gono Line.

I would hazard to guess a significant amount of tourism in Japan is on the Pacific Ocean side. But if you want to see what Japan is really like you need to visit the Sea of Japan side where the coast is rugged and lined with small fishing village. I had the fortunate chance to take a JR East Joyful Train Resort Shirakami (リゾートしらかみ Riz?to Shirakami) sightseeing experience on the Gono Line. This report only discusses the Rail Line itself and not the side trips outside of this train line.

The Gono Line starts at Higashi-Noshiro, north of AKita Prefecture consisting of mostly single track with some double track. Portions of the line is not electrified so a modified 4-car KiHa 40 and 48 Hybrid Train are used. The photo below is the newest rolling stock, the Buna.

Hybrid technology on a train.

The interior of the car uses a lot of light colour wood in the ceiling and flooring which celebrates the beech forests found in the Alps nearby. The use of whites and the shades of orange on the seat provides a very comfortable backdrop.

Interior of the Buna Rolling Stock from Akita Station

On the Buna rolling stock, there is a small bar where you can order bento boxes and small eats, snacks such as ice cream, and souvenirs. Pictured below is their limited edition "Forest of Beech" which tasted like matcha tossed in with cedar or some type of tree taste.

The train has a bar where you can buy bento boxes, snacks, and souvenirs.

Along the Resort Shirakami it starts off as urban as you travel north, then farmland takes over. Beyond Higashi-Noshiro Station forests and the Sea of Japan takes over. At Higashi-Noshiro Station you can try out this fun basketball game. Once you throw the ball into the net you can win a prize.

Throw the ball into the net, win a prize!

The majority of the rail journey is along the coast of the Sea of Japan which is rather rugged and dotted with islets and sea stacks. Once in a while you will see small fishing villages with fishing trawlers docked on the pier.The conductor was really good because the train will slow down to a crawl for about 20 seconds allowing everyone on the train to take photos.

The rugged coastline along the Sea of Japan

Along the train journey there are a few places you should stop and visit. For example:

Juniko Station: The majority get of f here

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List of Posts:
2018/10/25 - Tohoku Series: Genbikei Gorge (厳美渓)
2018/10/24 - Tohoku Series: Hachinohe (八戸市)
2018/10/23 - Tohoku Series: Seikan Tunnel Museum (一般財団法人 青函トンネル記念館)
2018/10/23 - Tohoku Series: Cape Tappi (竜飛崎)
2018/10/22 - Tohoku Series: Oirase Gorge (奥入瀬渓流) and Towadako (十和田湖)
2018/10/21 - Tohoku Series: Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya (星野リゾート 青森屋)
2018/10/21 - Tohoku Series: Mt. Hakkoda (八甲田山)
2018/10/20 - Tohoku Series: Aomori (青森市)
2018/10/20 - Tohoku Series: Seafood Capital, Aomori (青森市)
2018/10/19 - Tohoku Series: Juniko
2018/10/19 - Tohoku Series: Gono Line
2018/10/18 - Tohoku Series: Tazawako (田沢湖)
2018/10/18 - Tohoku Series: Kakunodate (角館)
2018/10/17 - Tohoku Series: Akita (秋田市)
2018/10/16 - The Pokemon Cafe experience
2018/10/16 - Early Morning Meiji stroll
2017/11/11 - Tsukiji's (Truly) Last Breath
2017/10/31 - Yokohama - Western Port City
2017/10/30 - Tateishi Nakamise Shotengai - Stepping into a Time Warp
2017/10/29 - Oya History Museum - A Cavern in Time
2017/10/28 - Nikko - Land of Spirituality and Tourists Part Two
2017/10/28 - Nikko - Land of Spirituality and Tourists Part One
2017/10/27 - Aizu - Wakamatsu and Kitakata: Land of Ramen and Red Cows
2017/10/27 - Ouchijuku - Historic Town in Fukushima Prefecture
2017/10/25 - Noboribetsu - The Comforts of Hell!
2017/10/24 - Otaru - Land of History and Economic Power Part One
2017/10/24 - Otaru - Land of History and Economic Power Part Two
2017/10/23 - Sapporo - Fresh Seafood and Western History
2017/10/22 - Lake Toya - A Land of Destruction and Beauty Part Three
2017/10/21 - Lake Toya - A Land of Destruction and Beauty Part Two
2017/10/21 - Lake Toya - A Land of Destruction and Beauty Part One
2017/10/20 - Hakodate in 18 hours - Part Two
2017/10/20 - Hakodate in 18 hours - Part One
2017/10/20 - All aboard the Hokkaido Shinkansen in Gran Class style
2015/12/06 - Tsukiji's Last Breath
2015/12/02 - Kawagoe Day Trip
2015/11/29 - Pokemon Train on the JR Ofunato Line
2015/11/29 - Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture
2015/11/28 - Yamadera
2015/11/23 - The Architecture of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium