Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Plum Blossoms on the Gotemba Line

EMU JR Central 313-3000 series leaves Shimo-Soga Station on the Gotemba Line

We had a very cold winter this year. Spring blossoms are late in blooming in Japan. As temperatures have been comparatively low this year, the plum trees began blooming one month later than usual. Blooms in Soga Plum Field are no exception. Usually, the plums in this field are in full bloom in mid-February; however, they blossomed as late as last week this year (see the bottom photo).

Soga Plum Field is located 70km southwest of Tokyo, in the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture. The plums are grown here for fruit cultivation. Before bearing a lot of fruit, the trees produce beautiful flowers. They are mainly white, some pink and red, and also very fragrant. I visited there last weekend and enjoyed the advent of spring.

To get to Soga Plum Field, it is convenient to get off at Shimo-Soga Station on the JR Central Gotemba Line. The Gotemba Line connects Kozu on the JR East, Matsuda on the Odakyu and Numazu on the JR Central Tokaido lines. I took the Odakyu Line from my nearest station in Tokyo and transferred to the lovely 2 car train on the Gotemba Line at Matsuda Station.

The carriages are EMU JR Central 313 series, standard DC suburban trains, which have been manufactured since 1999. The white front face with an orange stripe was set off against the spring sky (see the top photo).

Trains are part of the scenery in Japan.

Plum field near Shimo-Soga Station on the JR Central Gotemba Line