I arrived at Masuda station a few minutes before 10 am and went to the ticket vending machine straight away. I was going to take a limited express train for the first time and I wanted to check online for the information. As the ticket machine confused the hell out of me, I tried to find free WiFi to connect to but, as with most rural places in Japan (and probably the rest of the world), I couldn’t connect to any WiFi. I had no choice but to ask at the ticket window. Just like last time, the staff was really helpful and friendly. I got my unreserved seat ticket in no time, but since the train would only depart at 10.30.
About ten minutes before the train’s departure, an announcement was heard throughout the little station. The train was arriving shortly, and passengers should present themselves at the ticket gates. The staff tore part of the ticket off, and showed me which part of the platform I had to wait at.
While waiting at the designated spot, I observed this bright red ‘wanman’ (which I explained here). Remember? The one where you have to pay the driver/conductor at the end of the ride. I can’t help but think they’re cute. ^^
Looking around while awaiting the arrival of the limited express train, I also spotted this very limited timetable for the Yamaguchi Line. Only 10 services a day!
Limited Express train “Super Oki 2” arrived shortly. I boarded along with the other passengers, and choose a seat. I immediately changed seats, because hey, I wanted to sit at the side with the marvelous sea views! And good thing I immediately realized this, because a few moments later, the train attendant checking the tickets and marking everyone’s seats. No more switching seats from that moment.
Look at these viewsssss! Cute little beach towns, bright empty sand beaches, clear blue water, mountains, rocks, cliffs, greenery,… Maybe this doesn’t sound special to some people, but in Belgium the coastline is rather dull and grey, and packed with people on fine days like these. And next to the beach, there are apartment buildings and a sea of grey-ness. So yeah, grey on both sides of the beach. 😞 Next time, I think, instead of passing this breathtaking scenery, I’ll just get off wherever I feel like getting off and enjoy a beautiful afternoon in one of these cute little seaside towns. 🌊☀😃
Lastly, an anecdote I forgot to mention in the tumultous journey to Hagi post… I managed to give that already delayed by 1,5 hours train a delay of six more minutes. My journey started all the way in Sasabaru station in Fukuoka city, where I bought the most expensive ticket I could find from the vending machine. I didn’t want to explain to the ticket officer how I’d take local trains all the way up to Hagi.
Arriving there though, I of course had to pay up because the ticket I bought was only up to Shimonoseki (which is about halfway between Fukuoka and Hagi). Here’s where the wanman disadvantage comes into play: the train driver-turned-conductor was busy trying to figure out how much I owed JR, so the train couldn’t move on. He called and called, and after six minutes finally arrived to the conclusion that I owed them a bit over a thousand yen. All this time, I had known how much I had to pay up, but who would believe the silly foreigner who couldn’t even buy the right ticket? 😉
Luckily, Hagi is inaka (rural) so the (mainly older) people on the train didn’t even bother and just chattered happily until the train left for the following part of its journey.