Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wintersweet Blossoms on the Chichibu Railway: Revisit

EMU 7000 series travels on the Chichibu Railway (August, 2014)
 
It is the coldest season of the year in Japan. Northerly winds bring cold, dry air over the Tokyo metropolitan area. The daytime maximum temperature is lower than 10 degrees Celsius every day. However, just outside the downtown area has already been filled with hints of spring here and there. I recently visited Mt. Hodo in Saitama Prefecture to see the full-blown wintersweet two years to the day since 2012.

As you may know, wintersweet is a flowering plant, which has yellow colored blossoms from December to February. I love full-blown yellow colored wintersweet backed by an ultramarine winter sky. Specifically, large-flowered "full moon wintersweet" and its sweet perfume is my favorite.

To get to this gorgeous spot, please take the Chichibu Railway and get off at Nagatoro Station. As I didn't have time to shoot the recent train photos, I am going to show you a picture, which was taken last year.

The EMU Chichibu 7000 series was launched in 2009 to replace the old 1000 series. It is the ex-Tokyu 8500 series, which had been operated on the Denentoshi Line for a long time. A total of 2 sets, 6 units, were transferred to the Chichibu Railway after their retirement from Tokyu.

Unit number 7002 was originally a non-driving middle car in Tokyu era. It means that the "face" was newly manufactured before its debut on the Chichibu Railway. The shining stainless face in bright natural light is very beautiful.

 
Wintersweet blossoms on Mt. Hodo near Nagatoro Station on the Chichibu Railway