Saturday, 2 August 2014

Good Day to Yamagata Campaign

Poster train of "Yamagata-biyori" campaign, the EMU JR East E3-2000 series
It is hot midsummer now in Japan. According to the weather report, the daytime maximum temperature in many cities reached 35 degrees Celsius last weekend. A breath of fresh air in the northern part of Japan must be cooling. One of the ideal areas is Yamagata Prefecture in Tohoku District.

Yamagata is located some 360km north of Tokyo. This prefecture faces the Sea of Japan and is famous for its beautiful scenery and an abundance of fruit. Currently, Yamagata Prefecture and JR East are running a joint campaign to promote tourists to visit Yamagata Prefecture under the name of "Yamagata-biyori (good day to Yamagata)".

To visit Yamagata, the Yamagata Shinkansen is convenient. The EMU JR East E3-2000 series is very comfortable with a maximum speed of 275km/h. Yamagata Shinkansen is a kind of "Mini-shinkansen", which is not built the same as the standard full-sized shinkansen. It was originally constructed as a conventional line with narrow gauge (1067mm). The gauge was later changed to the shinkansen size (1435mm).

As part of the Yamagata-biyori campaign, JR East operates a poster train on the Yamagata Shinkansen. We can see many illustrations of notable sightseeing spots and Yamagata's staples on the train bodies. They include a five-story pagoda and strolling monk in Mt. Haguro, cherry fruits, a water melon, noodles, local beef, and a hanagasa (a conical hat adorned with flowers used in traditional local performing arts).

It is indeed a good day to visit Yamagata Prefecture today.

Side view of the poster train, the EMU E3-2000 series on the Yamagata Shinkansen