Sunday, August 26, 2012

Train View Room in Sapporo City


EMU JR Hokkaido 721 series, airport access trains arrive at and depart from Sapporo Station

Sapporo is the main city in Hokkaido Island. It commands a population of 1.9 million people, and is the fourth-most populous city in Japan. Sapporo Station serves as the gateway of this giant city. Many trains arrive at and depart from this hub station. They are commuter trains, airport access trains, inter-city trains and overnight sleepers.

To enjoy the train view, there is a famous place along the railway track. That is the northwest corner room in the Keio Plaza Hotel. This hotel offers a special room for rail-fans everyday. After checking-in, I immediately started to enjoy the view of the trains from the special room on the 14th floor. It was the best spot to view trains arriving at and departing from Sapporo Station. I could see various kinds of trains running slowly on the shallow curving tracks near the station.

Look at the top photo. You can see the airport access trains to and from New Chitose Airport. They are the EMU JR Hokkaido 721 series, which are operated every 15 minutes. The light green stripes on the silver stainless bodies are very cool.

The other impressive one was a leisure train to Asahikawa (see the following photo). It is a special access train to Asahiyama Zoo, which is the most popular zoo in Japan. Cute images of animals can be seen on the colorful train bodies. It is very popular among boys and girls.

The room for viewing the trains held my attention all day and night.


DMU JR Hokkaido KiHa 183 series, "Asahiyama Zoo" stands at a siding near Sapporo Station

More information about EMU JR Hokkaido 721 series, Airport access train: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/train/tr020_01.html
More information about DMU JR Hokkaido KiHa 183 series, "Asahiyama Zoo" (in Japanese):