Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Primrose Community, Nature in the Giant City

EMU JR East 205-5000 series arrives at Musashi-Urawa Station in the rain

Saitama is the largest city in Saitama Prefecture, 20 to 30km north of Tokyo. It commands a population of 1.2 million people, and many residents commute into Tokyo during the daytime.

It is a giant city; however, the rich nature is still preserved here and there. The natural primrose community in Tajimagahara is one of the famous spots in the city. A total of 1.5 million blossoms are bunched together in the riverside of Arakawa in spring (see the following picture). It was designated as a national natural monument in 1920, and then upgraded to a special national natural monument in 1968. I am in love with the dark pink colored primrose blossoms there. They are tiny but lovely.

To visit this precious spot, I took the JR East Musashino Line and got off at Nishi-Urawa Station via Musashi-Urawa on the Saikyo Line. It takes around 30 to 40 minutes from Shinjuku, a subcenter of downtown Tokyo.

The Musashino Line should be called the outer loop railway of the Tokyo metropolitan area, if we apply the word of inner loop to the Yamanote Line. Connecting Tsurumi and Nishi-Funabashi, the total length reaches 100.6km. Passenger trains operate only between Fuchu-honmachi and Nishi-Funabashi, but freight trains operate on the entire line.

An orange color-striped EMU, 205-5000 series operates every 10 minutes during the daytime, and every 6 minutes in rush hours (see the top photo). Most of the sections are elevated tracks; therefore, you can enjoy a superb suburban view from the train window.

In the meantime, I have linked to "Dick Harris Photography" website. Please enjoy beautiful train pictures in the US, Switzerland and Japan.

Primrose blossoms near Nishi-Urawa Station on the JR East Musashino Line