Friday, 16 December 2011

View of "Eight Peaks" from Kofu Basin

EMU JR East 115 series, a "Nagano color" local train leaves Isawa-onsen Station, the Chuo Line

Come winter, I became to see snow capped summits from my office in downtown Tokyo. Last weekend, I visited the countryside to get a closer look at the beautiful mountains. My destination was Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture. As I introduced in the previous blog, it is convenient to take the Chuo Line to visit there. I chose a local train, EMU JR East 115 series this time.

The EMU 115 series is one of the trains with a long life in Japan (see the top photo). It was first manufactured in 1963 under the name of JNR (Japanese National Railways). The design is quite similar with that of 111 series, but the 115 series is modified from the 111 series to operate on steeply sloping routes, such as Chuo and Shinetsu lines. The large rounded front lights are very attractive for me. The sound of the 120kW DC motor also fills me with nostalgia.

After getting to Kofu Station, I changed to the JR Central Minobu Line and visited Mitama-no-yu Hot Spring again (see my August 6th blog). It is my favorite place because we can enjoy a superb "onsen" (hot spring) while viewing the beautiful Kofu Basin and its surrounding mountains. It was a bright and clear day. I could see snow capped "Yatsugatake" (Eight Peaks, 2899m at the highest) to the north (see the bottom photo). A seasonal local garden-fresh vegetable, "Otsuka-ninjin" (Otsuka carrot) made a great salad in the restaurant.

I had a really good weekend again.

View of Yatsugatake (Eight Peaks) Mountains from Kofu Basin, Yamanashi Prefecture