Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Japan's Second Largest Lake on the Joban Line

EMU JR East E531 series arrives at Tomobe Station on the Joban Line

Kasumigaura is the second largest lake in Japan. It is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, some 70 km northeast of Tokyo. Area of the lake is 168 square kilometers, but its maximum water depth is only seven meters, as it is a lagoon. People can enjoy fishing, playing with boats and riding a bike in this vast leisure area.

To get to Kasumigaura, please take the JR East Joban Line from Ueno Station. The EMU E531 series is the main fleet on the line. The E531 was launched in 2005 to counter the Tsukuba Express (TX), which is an adjacent railway of the Joban Line.

The E531 is an AC-DC dual system EMU with a maximum speed of 130 km/hour. It is composed of 10 cars in the main sets, with 5 cars in the subsets. Usually, it is operated as a 15-car train (a main set + a sub set) on the line. The gleaming stainless steel body with a dark blue colored stripe is an outward characteristic of the E531 series.

Most of the commuter railways in the Tokyo metropolitan area are operated on direct current (DC), but the alternate current (AC) system is adopted on the north side of Toride Station on the Joban Line. The reason for applying the AC system in the northern section is that the direct current has adverse effects on the observation work at the national magnetic observatory located near the track.

Taking the unique AC-DC dual system train, enjoy your weekend in the lake area.

View of Japan's second largest lake, Kasumigaura near Tsuchiura Station on the Joban Line