Thursday, 21 May 2015

Symbols in the Southern City

Electric car 7000 series arrives at Kagoshima-chuo-ekimae Stop on the Route 2

Kagoshima is the main city in Kagoshima Prefecture, some 1,400km west of Tokyo. The population now stands at 0.61 million, which makes it the fourth largest city on Kyushu Island. There are several symbols in this southern city, but I am going to show you two of them today.

The first symbol is an active volcano, Sakurajima (Cherry Island). It is an island in Kinko Bay in front of the downtown Kagoshima area. It takes only 15 minutes by ferry boat. This volcanic island is emitting a great deal of smoke. Specifically, in 1914, a large eruption occurred and the island was connected to Oosumi peninsula, which is located on the other side of the downtown Kagoshima area. The peak of Sakurajima is Kitadake, 1,117 meters above sea level.

The second symbol is Kagoshima City Tram in the downtown area. Two routes are operated by Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau. Its total operating length is 13.1km. The track gauge is 1,435mm and the electric system is 600V DC overhead.

One of the features of the city tram is its turf track. This green colored track covers about 70 % of the total route to prevent urban heat island. I am ambivalent about the turf track, but at least it is very beautiful. A yellow colored articulated electric car, the 7000 series, leaves glowing with the turf track. To maintain this beautiful track, Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau has developed a special lawn-mowing train.

Kagoshima is indeed a fascinating southern city.

Active volcano, Sakurajima in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
More information about the electric car 7000 series (in Japanese):