Monday, 12 November 2012

Histric Garden on the Futuristic AGT Line

Letest model on the Yurikamome Line, EMU 7200 series arrives at Shiodome Station

As I mentioned before, Tokyo is the most congested city in Japan. This giant city has been expanding since 1457, when Edo castle was constructed. Currently, there are many business districts, shopping quarters and residential areas in the city.

However, even in these circumstances, a number of historic areas remain unchanged. One of the examples is Hamarikyu Garden in the city center. This garden was constructed in the 17th century as a typical Japanese feudal lord garden. It is located next to Tokyo Bay; and its tidal ponds are filled with seawater. A tidal pond means a pond that is infused with seawater. Now the garden is surrounded by high-rise buildings of the Shiodome business area, and the contrast between the old and the new is superb.

To get to this urban historic spot, the Yurikamome Line is convenient. It is an AGT (automated guide way transit) line which opened in 1995 between Shimbashi in downtown Tokyo and the Tokyo Bay area (see my blog on August 29th, 2011). The current total operating length is 14.7km.

The top photo shows the latest model EMU 7200 series arriving at Shiodome Station near Hamarikyu Garden. This model was launched in 1999 as the second generation train on the line. The major different points from previously-existing 7000 series are the control system (from thyristor to variable-frequency drive) and increase the number of guide wheels.

Shioiri Pond in Hamarikyu Park near Shiodome Station on the Yurikamome Line
More information about the Yurikamome trains (in Japanese):