Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 Sunflower Festival on the Chuo Line

EMU JR East 115 series "Yokosuka color" stands on a siding in Ootsuki Rail Yard 
 
It is late summer in Japan. The maximum daytime temperature is still over 30 degrees Celsius, but, it is getting cool especially in the evening. I visited the sunflower festival in Hokuto City of Yamanashi Prefecture again this year. In the festival ground, nearly 600,000 sunflowers were blooming on six hectares. It was very vivid and gorgeous.

To visit this vast sunflower field, take a local train on the Chuo Line. The joy of the railway travel on the Chuo Line is that passengers can enjoy looking at splendid clear streams and beautiful mountain ranges.

Additionally, rail fans can enjoy riding on the EMU 115 series, "Yokosuka color" train on the Chuo Line. The 115 series is a standard local train, launched in 1963. Nearly 2,000 units have been manufactured for 20 years. But most of them have already been scrapped. Currently, many rail fans visit the Chuo Line to ride on and take pictures of these survivors.

For your information, the "Yokosuka color" is a traditional two-toned (dark blue and beige) color developed by ex-Japanese National Railways. I tried to ride on the Yokosuka color 115. But, unfortunately, my vehicle was the other model on that day. Instead, I could take pictures of the Yokosuka color 115 at Ootsuki Station, since it was standing on the siding in the rail yard. The Yokosuka color 115 was beautifully maintained as the elder of the Chuo Line.
 
Sunflower field near Nirasaki Station on the Chuo Line