Wednesday, November 2, 2011

EMU JR East 251 Series, "Odoriko"


EMU JR East 251 series, Limited Express "Odoriko" near Tamachi Station

Since I was on the subject of the Tokaido Line in my October 24th's blog, let me introduce a limited express train, which operates on this line. The name of the train is "Odoriko", EMU JR East 251 series (see the top photo). It operates between downtown Tokyo and Izu Peninsula, a famous seaside resort in the southern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Do you know the word "Odoriko"?

Odoriko means "a dancing girl" in Japanese. Why is the name of limited express train so strange? It's because the name comes from the famous novel, "Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu)" by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata. Mr. Kawabata (1899 – 1972) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, as the first Japanese author to receive the award. "The Dancing Girl of Izu" was published in 1926 as the first work of his literature to achieve great popularity.

The story of "Izu no Odoriko" is a youth's transitory love. A twenty-year-old young man, who was feeling lonely because he was an orphan, met a dancing girl in Izu Peninsula while he was travelling there. Through the meeting and heart-to-heart exchange with her, he was healed and was eventually drawn out of his loneliness.

In contrast to the story, the actual "Odoriko" train is very joyful. The EMU 251 series was launched in 1990 as a luxury resort express, and is still very popular among holidaymakers.

The dancing girl indeed got stardom, didn't she?

 EMU JR East 251 series, Limited Express "Odoriko" at Tokyo Station

More information about Limited Express "Odoriko": http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/routemaps/superviewodoriko.html