Friday, 7 September 2012

Fuji-san Express and Summer Scenery of Mt. Fuji

EMU Fujikyu 2000 series, Fujisan Express stands at Otsuki Station

It's already September, but the lingering summer heat is still intense. I got on the Fuji-san Express (Mt. Fuji Express) on the Fujikyu Line from Otsuki Station, and headed to the foot of Japan's highest mountain (3,776m above the sea level) to enjoy the cool breeze.

Connecting Otsuki on the JR East Chuo Line and Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi), Fujikyu is a local private railway in Yamanashi Prefecture. There are 16 stations over a total operating length of 23.6km. It is known as a steep mountain railway, as the difference of elevation between the highest and lowest points on the route is 499m. Its maximum grade is 40 per-mils.

As I introduced in my blog on September 22nd, 2011, Fuji Tozan Densha (Mt. Fuji Climbing Train) is famous among tourists, because the interior of the train looks like a living room. But, Fuji-san Express is also unique, as it has scenic seats in the first car of the train. Look at the top photo. The cockpit of the Fuji-san Express is upstairs. The passengers can enjoy a view through the wide front window.

After arriving at Kawaguchi-ko Station, I visited Lake Yamanaka, one of the five lakes around Mt. Fuji area. It was a bright day at the end of summer. I could clearly see the beautiful Mt. Fuji over the lake. Visitors were spending their last days of 2012 summer in their own way.

Summer scenery of Mt. Fuji over Lake Yamanaka near Kawaguchi-ko Station on the Fujikyu Line

More information about Fuji-san Express, Fujikyu Railway (in Japanese):