Friday, July 25, 2014

Classic Rail Cars and Katakuri Blossoms

Diesel rail cars, JR East KiHa 40-1000 series, travel on the Karasuyama Line
 
As I mentioned before, the JR East Karasuyama Line is a beautiful local line in Tochigi Prefecture, some 120km north of Tokyo. I am going to show you two more pictures on the line today.

Firstly, I would love to show you a classic rail car, KiHa 40-1000 series, operated on the Karasuyama Line. Although, a brand new accumulator train, EMU EV-E301 series, has been introduced to the track since March this year, the KiHa 40-1000 series is still operated as the major rolling stock on this route.

The KiHa 40-1000 is a standard diesel railcar for local lines. It was launched in 1977 by Japanese National Railways (JNR). Today, the Karasuyama Line is the only route where we can see the KiHa 40-1000 series in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Specifically, the vermilion and cream two-toned body, the so-called JNR color train, is my cup of tea.

Secondly, I am going to show you beautiful blossoms on the Karasuyama Line. Along with Nippon bells, Katakuri (Japanese Dogtooth Violet) is one of my favorite plants. It produces lovely pale purple blossoms in the forest from late March to early April. It heralds the arrival of spring. Katakuri-yama Park near Karasuyama Station is famous for its beautiful natural masses of Katakuri. They have been carefully-protected and fostered by local people. Many holidaymakers visit there in the blooming season to celebrate the coming of spring.

Enjoying the classic colored DMU and lovely Katakuri blossoms... the Karasuyama Line is a satisfactory spot to visit in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

 
Katakuri blossoms are seen in Katakuri-yama Park near Karasuyama Station