Monday, July 29, 2013

Lily Garden and Nagano Color Train

EMU JR East 115 series (Nagano color) arrives at Katsunuma Station on the Chuo Line
 
Nagano Prefecture is a mountainous land with many spas and beautiful scenery. The area is known as a summer recreation spot as well as a winter ski resort. In this season, lilies are full-blown on several mountains. I visited Fujimi Highland with my family to view this summer flower last weekend.

Fujimi Highland is located in the easternmost part of Nagano Prefecture, some 150km west of Tokyo. The area is cool even in summer as the altitude is more than 1,200m. Among the several lily gardens, I like the white birch lily garden the best. It has a really beautiful view with yellow, white and tangerine colored lily blossoms and a white birch forest in the backdrop. It would be a more mysterious scenery, if we visited there in the morning, as it might be enveloped in a mist.

To get to this gorgeous garden, we got on a local train on the Chuo Line. Our vehicle was the EMU JR East 115 series, "Nagano color". They have ivory colored bodies with light blue and emerald colored stripes. The 115 series is a standard commuter train, launched in 1963 under the name of JNR (Japanese National Railways). Nearly 2,000 units have been manufactured for 20 years. It is one of the trains with a long life in Japan. The large rounded front lights are very attractive for me. The sound of the 120kW DC motor also fills me with nostalgia.

 
Lily garden in Fujimi Highland near Kobuchizawa Station on the Chuo Line