Saturday, March 29, 2014

Promise of 2014 Sakura Season

EMU Tokyo Metro 07 series (left) and Toyo Rapid 2000 series (right) on the Tozai Line
 
On March 25th, the Meteorological Agency of Japan declared that the Sakura (cherry) blossoms had opened in Tokyo. The agency predicted that the Sakura trees would fully blossom about a week after they started to bloom. "Sakura front" is moving up the Japanese archipelago from south to north.
 
Before the exciting season, I am going to show you last year's fully bloomed Sakura in Tokyo as a preview. The following photo was taken at Chidorigafuchi in the downtown Tokyo area. The Sakura trees are planted along a moat of Edo Castle. The inside of the moat is currently open to the public as large Kitanomaru Park.

To get to this viewing spot, take the Subway Tokyo Metro-Tozai Line, and get off at Kudanshita Station. Connecting Nakano and Nishi-funabashi (30.8km), the Tozai Line penetrates downtown Tokyo from east to west. The trains directly merge into the JR East Chuo Local Line to Mitaka and the Toyo Rapid Railway to Toyo-Katsutadai; therefore, we can see not only Tokyo Metro trains, but also JR East and Toyo Rapid trains on the track. It is also fun for Sakura-loving rail fans to see the variety of trains on the Tozai Line.

The EMU Toyo Rapid 2000 series is just my cup of tea among the trains on the Tozai Line. It was launched in 2004 to replace the old 1000 series. The red and orange colored stripes on the aluminum body are my favorite.

 
Full bloomed Sakura is seen at Chidorigafuchi near Kudanshita Sta. on the Tozai Line (March, 2013)