Monday, March 18, 2013

Advent of Spring on the Chuo Line


EMU JR East 351 series, "Super Azusa", arrives at Kofu Station on the Chuo Line

Finally winter has gone and spring is here in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The sun is getting stronger, and the temperature has risen recently. After enjoying the panoramic view of Mt. Kaikoma (see my blog on March 8th, 2013 ), I visited a plum garden in Kofu City. Luckily, I found the blooming of red plum trees there (see the following photo).

Plums are grown for ornamental purposes and/or fruit cultivation. "Umeboshi" (a fruit of plum, which has been pickled in salt and dried in the sun), is a traditional preserved food in Japan. The citric acid of umeboshi stimulates the appetite and helps us recover from fatigue. I was very happy to see the plum blossoms basking in the spring sunshine. It has marked the end of the cold season.

Feeling euphoric, I returned to Kofu Station, and took the JR East Chuo Line to go back home. EMU 351 series, "Super Azusa" was my vehicle (see the top photo). Thanks to a tilting system, it passed through tight curves one after another at high speed. It took only 90 minutes from Kofu to Shinjuku, in a downtown of Tokyo. I stood on the platform of Shinjuku Terminal, before I could grab a quick nap on the train.

People in every country are searching for an easy life, and no one can really say that that's bad; but I felt that people should take a break from the fast-paced living of the modern world.

Blossoms of red plum in Furoen Garden near Kofu Station on the JR East Chuo Line