Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gentle Breeze on the Isumi Railway

Unit number 206 of the diesel rail car 200' series travels on the Isumi Railway 

I visited Ootaki Town in Chiba Prefecture last week, as something came up. After finishing my meeting, I searched the countryside for spring sceneries.

What came into sight were beautiful rice paddies. Urban consumers can obtain delicious and safe rice produced in Ootaki Town, as it is cropped by organic farmers. For instance, cultivation of Chinese milk vetch prior to cropping the rice is one of the organic farming methods. Chinese milk vetch absorbs nitrogen in the ground and is used for rice cropping after running dry. Needless to say, the rice is produced without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. I also found carp streamers in the paddy fields. A carp streamer is a symbol of power for children to grow up. Parents celebrate their children's birth and pray for their healthy growth by putting up carp-shaped banners in their paddy fields. The carps were whipping in the gentle breeze.

After enjoying a stroll, I headed to Shiromigaoka Station on the Isumi Railway. Connecting Ohara and Kazusa-Nakano, there are 14 stations over a total operating length of 26.8km on this local railway. The route is single track and non-electrified. The diesel rail car, 200' series is the oldest model on the line. It was launched in 1988 as the first rail car on the newly established Isumi Railway. A total of 7 units have been manufactured by Fuji Heavy Industries, but, currently, only two units, namely unit number 202 and 206, remain on the track.

 
A carp streamer is seen near Shiromigaoka Station on the Isumi Railway