Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lawn Cherry Field on the Chichibu Railway

Set number 6203F of the EMU Chichibu 6000 series approaches Ohanabatake Station
 
Shibazakura (lawn cherry) season has come in the Tokyo metropolitan area again. Following the year 2012 and 2013, I visited the other reputable lawn cherry field in a suburban area this year. My destination was Hitsujiyama Park in Saitama Prefecture.

Lawn cherry is a cherry-like flowered short grass, which is originally from North America. It blooms in April to May in Japan as a mid-spring flower. Hitsujiyama (sheep mountain) Park is one of the famous lawn cherry fields in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. More than 400,000 lawn cherries are growing on a hill that covers 1.8 hectares. They are pink, white and lilac colored blossoms.

To get to this gorgeous spot, please take the Chichibu Railway, and get off at Ohanabatake Station. On the way to the lawn cherry field, I came across the EMU 6000 series, which had a special plate of the lwan cherry field on the front. The 6000 series is an express train known as an ex-Seibu 101 series. A total of 3 sets, 9 units were moved to the Chichibu Railway in 2006.

In October last year, the body of the set number 6203F of the 6000 series was changed to a russet color. It is the so-called "the revival color", whose coloring design has been restored to the trains from the 1980s. The revial colored train has a strong appeal to rail fans.

I enjoyed both the beautiful lawn cherry field and the nostalgic colored train on the Chichibu Railway.

 
Lawn chery field in Hitsujiyama Park near Ohanabatake Station on the Chichibu Railway