Sunday, August 25, 2013

View of the Japanese Southern Alps on the Minobu Line


EMU JR Central 373 series, limited express "Fujikawa" runs on the Minobu Line

The Japanese Southern Alps, also known as the Akaishi Mountains, is a mountain range in the central part of Honshu Island, bordering Nagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. It has nine peaks, which are higher than 3000 meters above sea level. Of those, the highest one is Mt. Kita (3193 meters) in the northern part of the range.

To visit this elegant mountain range, take the JR Central Minobu Line. Connecting Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture and Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture, the total operating length is 88.4km. The whole route is electrified. The section between Fuji and Fujinomiya is a double track; meanwhile, the other interval is a single track. The track gauge is 1067mm, and the electric system is 1500V DC overhead.

The limited express "Fujikawa" is a representative train on the Minobu Line. Using a stylish EMU 373 series, Fujikawa is operated every two hours on average. Most trains are directly operated into the Tokaido Main Line to Shizuoka. For your information, Fujikawa is the name of the river along the Minobu Line. Fujikawa (Fuji River) takes its water from Mt. Nokogiri in the Japanese Southern Alps.

The 373 series was launched in 1995 to replace an old express train, the EMU 165 series. A total of 14 sets, 42 units have been manufactured so far by Nippon Sharyo and Hitachi. Normally, the 373 series is operated as a 3-car train.

The stylish EMU 373 series suits the elegant Japanese Southern Alps.
 
View of the Japanese Southen Alps from Nekko near Ichinose Station (March, 2013)