Friday, 30 May 2014

Scenic Waterfall on the Gotemba Line

EMU JR Central 313-3000 series stands at Yamakita Station on the Gotemba Line
It is late spring in Tokyo. The maximum daytime temperature reaches 25 degrees Celsius, meaning that the air-conditioners are starting to be used on the trains. I visited a cool spot, Shasui-no-taki (Shasui Fall) in a suburban area with my family at the weekend.

Shasui-no-taki is a famous waterfall in Kanagawa Prefecture, some 70km west of the downtown Tokyo area. It was designated as one of "the 100 best waterfalls in Japan" in 1990 by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.

The Shasui Fall is composed of three separate plunges with a total height of 90 meters. It has been known since at least the 12th century when it was used by Buddhist clergies for purification ceremonies. The clergies stood underneath the fall, allowing the water to strike their heads and upper bodies. It has been a sacred spot for a long time.

To visit this scenic waterfall, take the JR Central Gotemba Line and get off at Yamakita Station. Your carriage will be a lovely 2-car train, the EMU 313-3000 series, which has been manufactured since 1999. A total of 28 sets, 56 units, have been manufactured so far. They are operated without conductors, so the driver has to operate the passenger doors and check tickets at unmanned stations. He (or she) always looks very busy.

The stylish "face" with white and orange colored stripes on the train is my favorite, but the difference in levels between the train floors and station platform needs improving.

Shasui-no-taki (Shasui Waterfall) is located near Yamakita Station on the JR Central Gotemba Line