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Page first written 22 October 2002
Last updated 23 October 2002
Tobu Railway's surcharge discount campaign
Tobu Railway will offer a special discount of the surcharges of their flagship Limited Express and Express services during this coming November. The discounts of the theme parks and hotels run by the subsidiaries of Tobu Railway will accompany this campaign, the news release says.
Among the destinations served by Tobu, Nikko is said to be especially struggling. Recent years have seen the loss of competitiveness of Nikko as a whole, not just Tobu's Limited Express. Half of the reasons would be that the Shrines and Temples of Nikko is not enough to attract tourists; in addition to this, the traffic jam in and around Nikko city centre is adding to the hardship they suffer. The traffic jam makes it difficult to enjoy the natural landscape of Oku-nikko; when I stayed near Lake Chuzenji in 2000, it took me 3 hours to go down the famous "Iroha-zaka", where it would take only some 15 minutes if there were no traffic jam. This is simply and strongly discouraging people from even thinking of going to Nikko.
A solution I can think of is to shut out all private cars from Nikko city centre; the re-introduction of the tram line would be ideal. It will also help protect the environment if the route between Uma-gaeshi and Konsei Pass are to be closed --- services like train-ferries that carry automobiles between Nikko-Yumoto and Uma-gaeshi will drastically improve the situation, although it will cost a lot.
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TAKAGI, Ryo email@example.com (c) R. Takagi 2002. All rights reserved.