Tuesday, 16 April 2013

"Dancing Girl", Traditional Express to Izu Peninsula

EMU JR East 185 series, "Odoriko" passes through Izu-Taga Sation

As I mentioned in my blogs from April 9th to 12th, 2013, many kinds of trains are operated in Izu Peninsula. They include scenic sightseeing trains and nostalgic ex-commuter trains. Today, I am going to show you another one in the peninsula, which is the EMU JR East 185 series, "Odoriko" (see the top photo).

The 185 series, Odoriko was launched in 1981 to replace old EMUs, such as the 153 and the 183 series. The Odoriko is operated between Tokyo and Izu Peninsula as a limited express train. Odoriko means "a dancing girl" in Japanese.

The name of the train comes from the famous novel, "Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu)" by Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. "The Dancing Girl of Izu" was published in 1926 as the first work of his literature to achieve great popularity. The story is about a youth's transitory love. A twenty-year-old young man, who was feeling lonely because he was an orphan, met a dancing girl in Izu Peninsula while he was travelling there. Through the meeting and heart-to-heart exchange with her, he was healed and was eventually drawn out of his loneliness.

As the train name suggests, a profile of a dancing girl is displayed on the front of the train (see the following picture). Having bobbed hair, putting rouge on her cheeks and wearing a "kimono" (traditional Japanese clothes), she looks like a typical old-fashioned girl.

Odoriko... it is a traditional express to Izu Peninsula.

Display on the front of the EMU JR East 185 series, "Odoriko"
More information about the EMU JR East 185 series (in Japanese):