Saturday, 1 October 2011

One Saturday Morning at Shinjuku Station


EMU JR East E351 series, Limited Express "Super-Azusa" at Shinjuku Station

Although Tokyo Electric Power Company announced in early September that it had avoided the power shortages predicted for midsummer, still Japanese people are trying hard to save electricity. Needless to say, the power shortage would have been caused by the nuclear power plant disaster that followed the giant earthquake and the tsunami.

Many companies were contributing by trying to save electricity. This applied to my company as well. This September, I had to go to my office on Saturdays to equalize electricity consumption, because many other companies were off on a Saturday.

Last Saturday morning at Shinjuku Station, I saw an elegant train, EMU JR East E351 series, Limited Express "Super-Azusa" bound for Matsumoto (see the top photo) on the way to work. Families, couples and young groups were going to embark the train to visit beautiful mountain resorts on the weekend.

This train was specially-developed in 1993 for passing through tight curves in mountain ranges at a high speed. Just before entering the tight curves, the train automatically tilts its body to mitigate the centrifugal force. So, it's called a "tilting train". Thanks to this device, the new train greatly reduced the travel time between downtown Tokyo and Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures.

I felt a bit jealous of those who were riding the state-of-the-art train and going to resorts. But, immediately I rejuvenated, because I still get choked up thinking about the victims of the giant earthquake.

Year 2011 will be a memorable for all Japanese people.

Limited Express, "Super-Azusa" leaves Shinjuku Station

More information about JR East Limited Express "Super-Azusa":
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/routemaps/azusa_kaiji.html