I traveled to Nikko (日光) for three days and two nights in the middle of February for the first time in five years. Visiting Nikko in winter would be a good choice, since there are less tourists compared to other seasons (summer and autumn) and visitors are able to enjoy snow scenery. In this article, I will write about SL “Taiju” as part of Day 1.
[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1: Nikko Station
* Day 1: SL Taiju [This article]
* Day 1: Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji
* Day 1-2: Nikko Station (Light-up) and Nikko Station Hotel Classic
* Day 2: Shinkyo Bridge and Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple
* Day 2: Nikko Toshogu Shrine
* Day 2: Futarasan-Jinja Shrine, Taiyuin Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple and Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park
* Day 2-3: Nikko Kanaya Hotel
* Day 3: Kosugi Hoan Museum of Art and Matsuyashiki
Go to Shimo-imaichi Station
Following the previous post, I will leave Tobu Nikko station to watch SL “Taiju” at Shimo-imaichi station.
I just found a limited express “Nikko Mode Spacia” was standing at Tobu Nikko station.
“Nikko Mode Spacia” is a specially painted train with gold, black and red color, which represents World Heritage’s shrines and temples in Nikko. “Nikko Mode Spacia” operates only a few times a day, so I was lucky to see it 🙂
I moved to Shimo-imaichi station with a local train.
I went out the station.
Shimo-imaichi station, which is the branching point of the Tobu Nikko Line and the Tobu Kinugawa Line, was opened in 1929. The station building was renovated to retro and wooden style in April 2017, in time with the opening of SL “Taiju”.
I went into the station again.
I found a new type express train “Revaty” was stopping as a deadhead train.
“Revaty” is a coined term consisting of “Variety” and “Liberty”.
This is the limited express “Spacia” bound for Kinugawa-Onsen station.
“Nikko Mode Spacia”, which I had seen before at Tobu Nikko station, just reached Shimo-imaichi station now.
After the normal “Spacia” left, I took a photo of “Nikko Mode Spacia” again.
Now I will move to watch SL “Taiju”. SL “Taiju” is a steam locomotive which Tobu Railway resotred in August 2017 after half a century. It runs between Shimo-imaichi station and Kinugawa-Onsen station (12.4 km) for 35 minutes and operating three times a day mainly on weekends. This time, I will watch the departure of “SL Taiju No. 3”, which departs from Shimo-imaichi station at 1 p.m.
With the introduction of SL “Taiju”, the SL exhibition hall and the turntable square were developed at Shimo-imaichi station.
View from a connecting bridge. You can see a part of the SL Taiju’s train car.
Pictures and diorama are exhibited in the SL exhibition hall (- admission is free).
Visitors enjoyed view over the window.
Here is a view from the window.
Now let’s move to the turntable square.
As for SL “Taiju”, a steam locomotive pulls the first car at the front while a diesel locomotive pushes the last car from the end.
Zoom-up of the diesel locomotive.
Looking at the garage, I found a steam locomotive (C11) was preparing for departure.
After a while, the steam locomotive started to came out of the garage.
Moved to the turntable.
Went straight on the turntable.
Lots of visitors took pictures of the steam locomotive.
The steam locomotive was connected with the train car.
SL “Taiju” entered into the platform.
As you can see, the platform was crowded with lots of visitors.
I moved to the adjoining platform.
SL “Taiju” departed on time.
I saw off the train.
Then, I returned to Tobu Nikko station to move to the next destination.
That’s it for the article about SL “Taiju” as part of Day 1 of my Nikko trip.
When I watched the steam locomotive, I found it was so powerful and impressive. This time, I did not ride on SL “Taiju” and just watched it due to my travel schedule. If I have another chance, I would like to take SL “Taiju” next time.
Talking of the steam locomotive, I took photos of Chichibu Railway’s steam locomotive in Nagatoro (Saitama Prefecture) two years ago. If you are interested in it, please see the following link.
In addition, I like “Botchan train” in Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture), though it is not a real steam locomotive.
In the next article, I will write about Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji as part of Day 1.
1 Tobu Nikko Station
2 Shimo-imaichi station
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