Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Hydrangea Garden on the Kominato Railway

Nostalgic DMU Kominato Type 200 leaves Tsukizaki Station (February, 2013)
The season of hydrangea flowers has ended in Tokyo. I no longer see the full-blown hydrangeas in the urban area. Instead, we can still see beautifully blooming hydrangea in the mountains surrounding the city of Tokyo. One of the reputable late-blooming hydrangea areas is Mamenbara Highland in Chiba Prefecture. It is located in the center of Boso Peninsula. The altitude of the area is more than 300 meters.

In Mamenbara Highland, there is a famous hydrangea garden, "Tenbai-en (the garden to bow the knee to the heaven)", which is part of Buddhist temple, Myohosho-ji. More than 20,000 hydrangeas are planted there. They bloom from early to middle July (see the following photo). We can enjoy this fully blown hill, wandering the foot paths within the garden. It is absolutely the "world of heaven".

To visit this gorgeous spot, take the Kominato Railway and get off at Yoro-keikoku Station. As I mentioned in my blog on March 31st, 2012, this railway is a part of the trans-peninsula railway, which connects Goi on the west coast and Ohara on the east coast of the peninsula. Kominato forms the western part of the trans-peninsula railway.

A nostalgic two-car DMU train, Type KiHa 200 is one of the main fleets on the track. A total of 14 units were manufactured from 1961 to 1977 by Nippon Sharyo. Currently, they are rather old, but still maintained in good condition (see the top photo).

Kominato Railway attracts rail fans as well as flower lovers.

Hydrangea garden in Mamenbara Highland near Yoro-keikoku station on the Kominato Railway