On August 9th I got up at 5 AM to begin my now yearly August train trip using the Seishun 18 Kippu. For those of you who don't know the Seishun 18 Kippu lets you ride regular JR trains (e.g. no express trains) across Japan for any 5 days during a given period. It costs 15,500 yen and is very popular with train dorks (me), families, and college students. During the weeks building up to the trip I spend hours planning routes, pouring through timetables, and studying maps. It's almost as fun as the trip.
This years trip brought me in a loop from Kobe - Okayama - Niimi - Miyoshi - Gotsu - Yonago - Tottori - Chizu - Kamigori - Kobe. Here is the video from the first half of my trip from Kobe to Niimi.