Saturday, 29 August 2015

2015 "Sunrise" Summer in Himeji Station

EMU JR West 285 series, sleeper train, "Sunrise Izumo No.92", stands at Himeji Station

"Obon" is a Buddhist festival to recognize ancestral spirits. The souls of the dead are believed to return to their families during the festival in the middle of August. It is an occasion for people to visit their ancestors' graves to pray and make offerings of food and flowers. So, many people take holidays, and go back to their hometowns.

Although my hometown is Tokyo, I had an opportunity to go outside Tokyo during the obon season, as something came up. My destination was Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture, some 640 km west of Tokyo. After finishing my meeting, I came across an extra overnight sleeper train, the EMU 285 series, "Sunrise Izumo No.92", at Himeji Station. Connecting Izumo-shi in Shimane Prefecture and Tokyo, its operating length is 954 km.

The 285 series was launched in 1998. It is not a series of passenger cars pulled by a locomotive, but an EMU. A total of 5 sets of 7-car trains have been built so far by Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Three sets belong to JR West, while the other two sets are owned by JR Central.

Sunrise Izumo No.92 made a 10-minute stop at Himeji Station, so I could secure enough time to shoot this unique sleeper EMU. It then departed for Tokyo at 21.00 on schedule. I saw many families with children in the special train of the peak tourist season. Everyone looked to be having fun.

Have a good dream!

"Sunrise Izumo No.92", stands at Himeji Station on the Sanyo Main Line
Official information about the EMU 285 series (in Japanese):