Saturday, May 25, 2013

Historical Garden and Classic Tram in Hiroshima City


Electric car Hiroden (ex-Kyoto City Tram) 1900 series stands at Shukkei-en-mae Stop

Shukkei-en is a historic garden in Hiroshima City. It was originally constructed in 1620 on the orders of Asano Nagaakira, who was a Daimyo (feudal lord) of Hiroshima Domain. Since then, the garden had been used as Asano family's private property for a long time; but, opened to the public in 1940 as the family donated it to the local government. During WWII, Shukkei-en was destroyed by the atomic bomb, but it was reopened in 1951 after renovation.

Encircling a pond, Shukkei-en features mountains and gorges from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the water and surrounding foliage (see the following photo). When I visited there, it was covered with beautiful fresh green foliage. Azaleas were in full bloom, and the wind felt great.

To get to this Japanese landscape garden, take the Shiroshima Line of the Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroden). The Shiroshima Line is a feeder route of the Main Line. Connecting Hacchobori and Shiroshima, there are five stations over a total operating length of 1.2km.

The main fleet of the route is electric cars, ex-Kyoto City Tram 1900 series (see the top photo). It was originally manufactured by Naniwa Koki, Toyo Koki and Nihon Sharyo in 1957 and was moved to Hiroden in the late 1970s to spend its second life after retirement. Now the 1900 series is used to life in the City of Hiroshima. It has become an indispensable tram in this city.

The classic streetcars look good in the historical garden.

Shukkei-en garden near Shukkei-en-mae Stop on the Shiroshima Line, Hiroshima Electric Railway
 
More information about the electric cars of Hiroden (in Japanese):