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Monday, August 04, 2014

Joban Line

常磐線

The Joban Line is a 350 km (including branch lines) railway line whose main trunk line joins Ueno Station in Tokyo (and now beyond - see map below) with Sendai Station in Miyagi. The Joban Line had its beginnings back at the end of the 19th century in the Mito Line.

Joban Line ordinary train.
"Futsuu" train on the Joban Line

Joban Line special express.
Joban Line Special Express Train
I rode the Joban Line the other day from Ueno north-east up to Ushiku Station where we took a half-hour bus ride to the huge, towering Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha statue, the height of about a 27-story building!

Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha.
Ushiku Daibutsu
Then back on the Joban Line, this time to Kandatsu Station, where we had a great lunch with friends at a Brazilian restaurant there, the Ponto de Escape, about 10 minutes walk from the station.

Ponte do Escape Brazilian restaurant, Arakawaoki, Tsuchiura, Japan.
Ponto do Escape Brazilian Restaurant
Once again we took the Joban line train, to the Ami Premium Outlet about half an hour’s bus ride from Arakawaoki Station. As an outlet it was no more or less than what you would expect: scores of clothing and houseware brand shops selling their goods for considerably cheaper than in the cities - and with a few restaurants and things thrown in for good measure.

Ami Premium Outlet, Ami, Ibaraki, Japan.
Ami Premium Outlet
Ami Premium Outlet, while perfectly adequate, lacked the pizzazz and landscaped beauty of, say, the Prince Shopping Plaza in Karuizawa. Still, the prices were right, and we arrived back in Ueno Station happy shoppers.

If you’re visiting the Ami Premium Outlet, take the west exit out of Arakawaoki Station, locate the big Mega Don Quixote sign across from where you come out, and wait there for the bus to the Ami Premium Outlet. You buy a 520 yen return ticket from the bus driver. It takes about 35 minutes. Or a taxi will cost you about 3,500 yen.

Map of the Joban Line (red)

(From Ueno Tokyo Train Line Opens)

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