Wednesday, March 18, 2015

(Japan Jan 2015) Day 7: Visit Edo Wonderland. Stay at Kinugawa onsen.

Day 7 (29/1): Visit Edo Wonderland. Stay at Kinugawa onsen.


This day's itinerary:
(Day 6 of our 14 days JR Railpass)
0718-0803 Ueno to Utsunomiya via Shinkansen (45mins)
0823-0900 Utsunomiya to Imaichi via JR Nikko line (37mins)
Took a short 3mins cab ride from Imaichi station to Shimo-Imaichi station
0927-0942 Shimo-Imaichi to Shin-Takatoku station via Tobu Kinugawa local train (15mins, 200yen)
Took a short 5mins cab ride from Shin-Takatoku station to Edo Wonderland
Visit Edo Wonderland (closes on Wed)
1520-1535 Bus from Edo Wonderland to Kinugawa onsen station.
Bought some snacks and drinks from convenience store opposite the train station.
Took a short 5mins cab ride from Kinugawa onsen station to our hotel.

There are actually a few different ways of getting from Tokyo to Nikko/Kinugawa onsen.
The more convenient way is to take a direct Tobu Ltd Exp train from Shinjuku in Tokyo to Nikko, then transfer to Tobu Kinugawa line to reach Kinugawa onsen station.

However, since Tobu is a non-JR company train line, therefore it is not covered by JR railpass (which we are using for the trip).

Therefore, we took a longer journey with more train transfers to get from Tokyo to Kinugawa onsen area.

Here's what we did:
Ueno to Utsunomiya via Shinkansen  *covered by JR railpass
Utsunomiya to Imaichi via JR Nikko line *covered by JR railpass
Either walk or take short 3mins cab from Imaichi station to Shimo-Imaichi station
Shimo-Imaichi to Shin-Takatoku via Tobu Kinugawa line (200yen) *not covered by JR Pass

We could have taken the Tobu Kinugawa line to Kinugawa onsen station instead of alighting at Shin-Takatoku station and then take a slightly longer bus ride to Edo Wonderland. But since Shin-Takatoku is nearer to Edo Wonderland, so cab ride is slightly cheaper, so I choose to alight at Shin-Takatoku station. Bear in mind though, there's really nothing much at Shin-Takatoku station, other than a bus stop, and occasional taxi waiting outside. 

My advise is to take bus from Kinugawa onsen to Edo Wonderland, since there will be more people there to help guide you to the right bus.

At Utsunomiya station, about to board the JR Nikko line train.

JR Nikko line
Inside the train, onboard JR Nikko line

There is 1 toilet onboard the train.
 After arriving at Imaichi station, we took a short 3mins taxi ride to Shimo-Imaichi station to take the Tobu Kinugawa line. Tobu Kinugawa line is a non-JR train line, therefore the JR railpass does not cover this train line. The timings of the train departure are pretty infrequent with only about 1 train departing every hourly.


The orange train is a Ltd Exp train, and the red train is a local train. Ltd Exp trains are much more expensive since they skip many stations and have more comfortable seats.

This is the Tobu Kinugawa local train. 


Even though it's a local train, there's a toilet onboard the train too.

Alighted at Shin-Takatoku station. 

There wasn't any staff at the station when we went pass the gantry though. Well, at least I don't recall seeing anyone around.

Shin-Takatoku station's outside. As you can see, it's really just a small residential area.

The only coin lockers at Shin-Takatoku station.

Our original plan was to take a short bus ride to Edo Wonderland, but since there were a few taxis available and that we had to wait awhile for the next bus, so we just went ahead and took a cab.
Arrival at Edo Wonderland.
We left our large luggage bags at our Tokyo hotel (since we will be back at Tokyo the next day) and just brought along with us a small overnight handcarry bag. Therefore we used these coin lockers at Edo Wonderland for our bags.

Coin lockers at Edo Wonderland
Coin lockers at Edo Wonderland

Initially, I was wondering what are these, since they were giving these out at the entrance.

Then I realised that it's a packet of heatpack! How thoughtful! :)
 On 1 of our previous trips, we visited the Edo themepark at Hokkaido's Noboribetsu which is supposedly similar to this Edo Wonderland. But in comparison, I very much prefer this particular one at Kinugawa onsen over the one at Noboribetsu since I felt that this place is more lively, and more interaction.



I love how they get their staff to dress up in Edo period costumes and went around as if they are residents of this old town.




Shogi



















Lunch time






Darts throwing. These are chargeable.

These are chargeable as well. Can't remember if it's 500yen or 600yen.
 I liked how there are traditional games that's available scattered around Edo Wonderland that's free for visitors to play with at their own leisure.





The 3 of us spent nearly 20mins on playing these spinning tops. 2 helpful japanese aunties helped guide us on how to roll the string when they saw us fumbling around with the tops. It was really fun.
  While the 2 guys went to watch Ninja performance, I chose to watch the procession instead since photography is not allowed during the Ninja performance.

Visitors waiting for the procession to start.






Check out her shoes!


 After our visit to Edo Wonderland, we collected our bags from the lockers, and then took a 15mins bus ride to Kinugawa onsen station.

Kinugawa onsen station

Foot and Hand hotspring bath just outside Kinugawa onsen station

A small convenience store opposite Kinugawa onsen station. We bought our snacks and drinks from here before we took the cab to our hotel.
 For this night, we stayed at Hotel Shirakawa Yunokura at Kinugawa onsen. It is about 5mins cab/10mins bus from Kinugawa onsen station. 
My brother wanted to experience Kotatsu (heated table in the winter) which is why I selected this hotel. Our bookings comes with set course dinner and breakfast at their private dining area.

Our room. 

Kotatsu



View from our room's balcony.

View from our room's balcony. 
 For dinner, we had to go down to the dining area (private rooms).








By the time we returned from our dinner, our beds were already laid out for us in our room.

Watching newest episode of Naruto on TV. 

Pokemon snack. 

Go to previous blog entry: Day 6 Visit Echigo-Yuzawa and Karuizawa
Go to next blog entry: Day 8 Kinugawa onsen to Tokyo.




4 comments:

  1. Hi are taxis readily available at the kinugawa onsen station and edo wonderland?

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    Replies
    1. There should be taxis readily available at Kinugawa onsen station since it's a main station in that area.
      As for Edo wonderland, I can't recall exactly how readily taxis are available there on standby, but since it's a touristy place, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem getting a cab there.
      That being said, I would still recommend that you take note of the bus schedule which runs from Edo Wonderland to Kinugawa onsen station for just in case there are no taxis at Edo Wonderland.

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  3. Hi! Your blog will be a great help. Btw, what does the entrance fee for Edo Wonderland cover? Like, does is already cover the costume/kimono/yukata rental? Im planning to bring my child to experience the ninja and samurai thing, does the entrance fee cover this also?

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