Saturday, 4 February 2012

Urban "Hatsumode" on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

EMU Tokyo Metro 01 series leaves Tameike-Sanno Station on the Ginza Line

I just celebrated New Year, but I can't believe it is February already. Before introducing the topics of this month, I would like to keep to the subject of January a bit more.

During the New Year's season in Japan, many people visit shrines and temples. This is called "Hatsumode", the first visit to a shrine and a temple. The purpose of Hatsumode is to ask a god for a favor, or simply to turn over a new leaf and refresh yourself.

I visited Hie Shrine near Tameike-Sanno Station on the subway Ginza Line. The shrine is located on the top of a hill, which is surrounded by office buildings (see the bottom photo). After taking three flights of open air escalators, you can get to the altar. It is a typical urban shrine in downtown Tokyo, isn't it?

In the meantime, the Ginza Line is the oldest subway in Japan. It was partially opened between Ueno and Asakusa (2.2km) in 1927 (see my blog on September 10, 2011). Then, the entire route, between Shibuya and Asakusa (14.3km), was fully opened in 1934 by Tokyo Subway Company (present Tokyo Metro). Today, the Ginza Line has grown up to become one of Japan's representative commuter lines (see the top photo).

Recently, Tokyo Metro announced the launching of new EMU 1000 series this spring. The first train has already been completed and is being tested at a depot now.

The Ginza Line is providing us with something worth telling, even after 85 years of history.

Hie Shrine and office buildings near Tameike-Sanno Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

More information about new EMU Tokyo Metro 1000 series (in Japanese):
Detailed description about new EMU Tokyo Metro 1000 series (in Japanese):