Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shimpu in Springtime, Shangri-La on the Chuo Line


EMU JR East 115 series (Nagano color) leaves Shimpu Station on the Chuo Line

Shimpu is a small station on the JR East Chuo Line. It is located in a mountain range between Kofu Basin of Yamanashi Prefecture and Suwa Basin of Nagano Prefecture. Usually, it is a very quiet local railway station. On average, only about 60 passengers use that station each day so there isn't any staff located there.

Once a year, Shimpu turns into a busy station. It is peach blooming season. In April, the hills around Shimpu Station are filled with pink colored peach blossoms (see the following photo). Yellow colored canola blossoms also add a touch of color to the scenery. Many flower lovers flock to and get off at this station to enjoy the cheerfulness of the springtime. Visitors listen to the larks on the paths in the peach field. They mark the beginning of spring.

To get to this Japanese Shangri-La from Tokyo, take the local train on the JR East Chuo Line from Takao Station. The local trains, the EMU 115 series, are operated every half an hour on average (see the top photo). The limited express trains do not stop at Shimpu.

Train passengers can also enjoy looking at splendid clear streams and beautiful mountain ranges to and from Shimpu on the train. It is another benefit for the tourists who travel by train.

Shimpu in Springtime, it is a Shangri-La on the Chuo Line.

Peach trees near Shimpu Station on the JR East Chuo Line