Monday, 27 May 2013

Romance Car "LSE" and Natural Beauty in Hakone

EMU Odakyu 7000 series, Romance Car "LSE" (original color) passes through Kyodo Station

Hakone is a famous mountain resort in the western suburbs of Tokyo. It is always busy with tourists, but, it is especially crowded now because it is the season of fresh greenery. I also went there with my family last weekend.

We got on the Odakyu Romance Car from Machida Station. Our vehicle was the EMU 7000 series, "LSE" (see the top photo). It was launched in 1980 to replace the old models. A total of 4 sets, 44 units, have been manufactured by Nippon Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries so far. Currently, two sets are still being operated on the Odawara Line.

Recent topics of the LSE are its body color change. Last year, Odakyu returned the body color of LSE to its original one, namely orange vermilion, gray and white. As a result, the white and wine-red colored LSE cars (see my blog on June 25th, 2011) have disappeared from the tracks.

After arriving at Hakone, we enjoyed a half-day mountain hike. While we walked along a small stream near Kowakidani Station on the Hakone-Tozan Railway, we found an excellent geologic outcrop. It was columnar joint of the Sengen-yama andesite lava (see the following picture). This lava flowed inside the Hakone Caldera around 50,000 years ago. The beautiful hexagonal pattern (columnar joints) was created in the process of the cooling of the hot lava. It has a stonewalling-like appearance; but it is a natural geological phenomenon.

We enjoyed the gorgeous Romance Car and the natural beauty in Hakone.

Columnar joints are found in the Sengen-yama aidesite near Kowakidani Staion
More information about Romance Car, LSE, the EMU Odakyu 7000 series (in Japanese):
More information about Odakyu Romance Car: