Monday, 31 March 2014

2014 Sakura Season in Tokyo

EMU JR East E231 series arrives at Ochanomizu Station on the Chuo-Sobu Local Line
Along with Chidorigafuchi, my other favorite Sakura viewing spot is Ochanomizu, which is located in downtown Tokyo. We can see many Sakura trees on the banks of Kanda River. Their blossoms are very beautiful backed by the blue sky and clear river water.

Ochanomizu (tea water) was named after the nearby Kanda River from which water was extracted to make the Shogun's tea during the Edo period. After the Meiji restoration in the 19th century, it became a town of universities. The Meiji, Juntendo, and Tokyo Medical and Dental universities are all located in this area.

The railways in the Ochanomizu area are quite unique. The track of Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line crosses Kanda River near Ochanomizu Station. The "subway" train runs above ground. You can see two tunnels both on the right and the left sides of the riverbanks. It's a very rare sight in the center of Tokyo.

The JR East Ochanimizu Station is also quite unique. We can see both the Chuo Rapid and the Chuo-Sobu Local Line trains at this station. Passengers can transfer between the two lines on the same platform. It is very convenient.

In the meantime, JR east Ochanomizu Station was built on the cliff of Kanda River. Recently, the railway company has started renovating the station. It is a very difficult task, since the work area is limited. A tentative work bridge is being constructed over Kanda River to access the station building.

2014 Sakura season is just beginning in Tokyo.

Sakura blossom is seen near Ochanomizu Station on the JR East line