Disappointment and delight at Unazuki Onsen

The rattling Chino Line train delivered us up the scenic Kurobe Gorge to its terminus of Unazuki Onsen where we were met by our hotel’s shuttle bus driver. Unfortunately he had bad news: heavy rains had lead to the suspension of the Kurobe Gorge tourist train services and that they would only run a short way up to Sasadaira tomorrow.

That was a huge disappointment as the train was the point of this visit for me. The tiny open air passenger cars sat idle at the station, their converted construction locomotive doing nothing.

B was complaining that she wanted to visit Tokyo instead.

Nothing we could do about it. So we took a walk. After a hot foot bath first, of course. There’s a lot of hot water flowing here.

The free Kurobe River Electric Memorial Hall was quite interesting and included some English signals to give an idea of the scale of the hydroelectric dam construction on the river.

We walked around the Yamabikobashi Bridge and surrounds, enjoying the stunning views of the river and the natural surroundings. Through a dank tunnel developing stalactites and out up to a view of the Unazuki dam.

Water thundered down the slip way, no doubt a result of the same rains that closed the line.

Our feet were tired when we returned to the town centre. We could have caught one of the slow, but free, electric buses that ply the route. Instead we shopped for a few snacks, scorched our feet in the Omokage foot bath and crossed the river to our hotel.

Our tatami room has magnificent views across the gorge and even of the railway line up here.

Even if the train is limited tomorrow Unazuki Onsen is still worth a visit in its own right.