Thursday, February 26, 2015

Narcissus Blooming Season on the Uchibo Line

EMU JR East 209-2100 series and the full-blown narcissus in Iwai Station on the Uchibo Line
 
It is still cold in Japan. The daytime maximum temperature is lower than 10 degrees Celsius, but the sun is getting stronger in the Tokyo metropolitan area. I am sure that spring is just around the corner and I can't wait for a genial season. Following last year, I visited Chiba Prefecture with my family to see the narcissus blossoms. Our destination was Iwai on the JR East Uchibo Line. It takes about one hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station by the limited express train, "Sazanami (Ripple)", the EMU 257-500 series.

When we visited Iwai last weekend, the narcissus blossoms were at their peak. They had bloomed in fields, on slopes, on riversides and in gardens. The sweet smell of the flowers attracted my family; while, I enjoyed taking photographs of flowers.

After coming back to Iwai Station, I found a narcissus garden adjacent to the platform. I could shoot the local train, EMU 209-2100 series, backed by full blown narcissus flowers. The 209 series was originally debuted in Tokyo in 1993 to replace the old commuter EMU, the 103 series. It has induction motors with a VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) control system.

The EMU 209 series was, then, introduced onto the Uchibo Line in 2009 under the names of the 209-2000 and the 209-2100 series, after the original 209 series was renovated. Different from the original 209 series, the 209-2000 and 209-2100 series have semi-cross seats in the first and last cars.
 
Full-blown narcissus on the bank of Iwai River near Iwai Station on the JR East Uchibo Line