Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Glad We Took the Tour When We Could

As those of you following me for a long time may know, back in 2007 after the Yokohama Worldcon, Lisa and I spent two weeks traveling around Japan, and among the things we did was the Seikan Tunnel Tour. This is one of the things I would have included in a "Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't" meme had I decided to try and create one. (travelswithkuma would have to have been an exception, of course.) While looking this up, I find that the Tappi-Kaitei Station (World's Deepest) is slated to close, along with the museum, when the Hokkaidō Shinkansen is completed in 2015. So if you have a hankering to see this unique piece of railroad tunnel construction — probably the last big tunnel to ever be constructed by the traditional shield-tunneling method — you have only a few years left to make the trip.

Hint: If you want to do this trip, stay in Aomori the night before and take your bags with you to continue on to Hakodate or Sapporo. The only trains that stop here are northbound (Aomori to Hakodate), so if you intend to go back to Aomori or points south, you have to ride north and then back the other way. It's more efficient to just keep going northward, and had we realized this on our trip, I think we would have gone on to Sapporo to spend the night there and have at least part of a day there rather than the mere hour we had changing trains. Tappi-Kaitei station's only active purpose is as a gateway to the tunnel tour (it's also an emergency-evacuation station for the tunnel), and there are luggage cages where you can store your stuff after you arrive so you don't have to lug it around with you on the tour.
Tags: japan, railroads
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