Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Carp Streamer on the Suigun Line

Diesel rail car, JR East type E130 stands at Hitachi-Daigo Station on the Suigun Line
It is a bit of an unseasonal topic, but I am going to show you a traditional event in Japan. The 5th of May is called "Children's Day" in Japan. Parents celebrate their children's birth and pray for their healthy growth by putting up carp-shaped banners, namely "Koinobori," in their gardens.

What is a Koinobori? It is a carp streamer. When a carp flows upstream, he (or she) uses all his (or her) physical power to jump over obstacles, even waterfalls. So, Koinobori is a symbol of power for children to grow up. I saw a school of Koinobori in the Fukuroda area of Daigo Town in Ibaraki Prefecture (see the following photo). It was in May this year.

To visit this carp streaming area, take the JR East Suigun Line and get off at Fukuroda Station. Connecting Mito, a major city in Ibaraki Prefecture and Asaka-Nagamori in Fukushima Prefecture, the total operating length is 147km. The whole route is unelectrified and is a single track.

The DMU, KiHa E130 series is operated on the line. It is usually operated as a two-car train, which consists of the bluish green-colored type KiHa E131 and the type E132. But one more car, the vermilion-colored type KiHa 130 (see the top photo) is also coupled in the section nearby a major city.

The vividly colored carp streamers and the colorful train... both fit the blue sky in the countryside on the Suigun Line.

Carp streamers near Fukuroda Station on the Suigun Line