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Japan Hour

Bus vs Local Trains In Kanagawa And Saitama Prefectures - Part 2

The "bus team versus train team" transfer race from Kanagawa to Saitama continues, with members visiting a giant circuit track at the foot of a mountain and taking on a thrilling selfie challenge.

The “bus team versus train team” race continues. The teams started from Hakone-Yumoto in Kanagawa Prefecture and their goal is Chichibu Muse Park in Saitama Prefecture. They have visited one out of four checkpoints and must now head to the second one, Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest.

The bus team members are in the lead and reach the Higashino bus stop at 3.55pm after walking for 45 minutes. They then take another bus at 4.05pm, alight at Mikage and must transfer to a bus bound for Lake Sagami.

The train team takes a taxi from the first checkpoint, Ma-chan, at 4pm to Fujisan Station. The taxi fare comes up to slightly more than 6,000 yen. They make it in time to catch the 4.30pm train to Sagamiko Station. 

The Lake Sagami-bound bus will only leave at 5pm. So the bus team makes enquiries at the information centre about getting to the third checkpoint after completing the mission at the second one. They find out that to go to Hanno in Saitama Prefecture, they can take a bus from Mikage to Hashimoto and then transfer buses to go to Hachioji. From there, they should go to Akigawa Station. It is now 4.55pm and there is a bus leaving for Hashimoto at 6.30pm. They reach the second checkpoint ahead of the train team and plan to leave by 6pm. Pleasure Forest is a popular amusement park with huge athletic tracks and various rides overlooking Lake Sagami. It is one of the largest and most popular spots in the Kanto region to see illuminations. The teams’ mission here is to find 15 types of illuminated animals in the park.

In the meantime, the train team arrives at Sagamiko Station and starts walking 3.5km to Pleasure Forest. 

The bus team completes the mission and manages to catch the 6.30pm bus back to Mikage. They must now head to the third checkpoint, Formuland Ra Hanno, about 60km away. It features one of the largest rental kart tracks in the country.

The train team reaches Pleasure Forest at 6.45pm, 20 minutes after the bus team has left the checkpoint. They complete the mission at around 8pm and will now walk to Tachikawa Station.

The bus team arrives at Hachioji Station in Tokyo at 8.35pm. They catch the Akigawa-bound bus at 8.45pm and start gathering information for the next morning. They are told that there are no direct buses from Akigawa Station to Ome Station. From Akigawa, they will first have to walk 3km to the Sugao bus stop and then take a bus at around 6.40am to Ozaku Station. They can then transfer to a bus bound for Ome Station. The bus team checks into a hotel near Akigawa Station. They are in the lead at the end of the first day. 

Meanwhile, while walking to Tachikawa, the train team discusses their strategy for the next day. They decide to start the day early as Formuland Ra Hanno opens at 9.30am and it is about 8km away from the nearest station, Ikusabata. 

On the second day, the bus team leaves the hotel around 5.50am and walks to Sugao to catch the 6.40am bus to Ozaku Station. From there, they plan to transfer buses and head to Ome and then take a bus to a place called Kaminaruki. However, at Ozaku Station, they are dismayed to find out that the buses from Ozaku to Ome only operate on weekdays. They are advised to take the 7.05am bus and alight at a bus stop called Kasumicho Shinmachi.

The train team, meanwhile, first heads to Ikusabata from Tachikawa Station on the 6.05am train. They arrive at 7am and must walk 8.5km across a steep mountain pass, crossing the border between Tokyo and Saitama. After visiting Formuland Ra Hanno, they plan to return to Ikusabata Station and take the train leaving at 11.30am. 

In the meantime, the bus team reaches Kasumicho Shinmachi at 7.10am. They board another bus at 7.15am and make their way to a bus stop called Kaminaruki. From there, they walk to Formuland Ra Hanno, 4km away. The bus team comes across a bus stop with buses going to Hanno Station, from where they can go to the next checkpoint in Hidaka City. After completing the mission at Formuland Ra Hanno, they plan to take the Hanno Station-bound bus leaving at 9.55am.

Formuland Ra Hanno is a giant circuit track built at the foot of a mountain. Children and adults can rent karts here. For their mission, each team has to take a selfie which captures their whole team, including one team member on a kart driven by a professional. The challenge is complete once the photo showing all three members and the kart is successfully taken.

The bus team reaches the checkpoint, with the other team arriving soon after. The bus team attempts the mission first and they hope to finish soon, so that they can take the bus 25 minutes later, at 9.55am. 


1)    Illuminated animals at Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest are a must-see attraction
2)    Fans of go-kart racing should visit Formuland Ra Hanno in Saitama Prefecture

Source: CNA


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