Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Enjoying the Autumn Leaves in Hakone

 Odakyu Romance Car EXE, EMU 30000 series at Chitose-funabashi Station

Autumn begins to deepen in Japan. The leaves have begun to turn red in some places in the Tokyo metropolitan area. One of the most famous places for enjoying autumn leaves is Hakone (see also my blogs from October 3rd and July 11th), a western suburb of Tokyo.

I took the Odakyu Romance Car EMU 30000 series, "EXE" (see the top photo), and headed to the Hakone mountains. EXE stands for "Excellent Express". It was commissioned in 1996 to replace the old Romance Car EMU 3100 series, "NSE". Since one set of the train is composed of ten twenty-meter cars (a total length of 200m), it has a greatly increased passenger capacity. One set can be broken up into six and four car sections to enhance operational flexibility as well.

After arriving at Hakone-yumoto terminal, I visited Hakone Glass Forest Museum where we can enjoy beautiful autumn leaves in the beautiful garden (see the bottom photo). The autumn leaves had just begun. I could see some red maple and yellow zelkova leaves there. This year we can view the best condition of autumn leaves in mid-November.

In the museum, the Venetian glass exhibition was going on. Most of the pieces, which were made in 17th to 19th century in Italy, have bird, flower, dolphin or dragon motives. Some of them looked like lace making, combining transparent and colored glass materials. They were very delicate and brilliant.

I enjoyed beautiful nature and antique glass art in the Hakone mountains.

Autumn Leaves in the garden in front of Hakone Glass Forest Museum