Saturday, 22 August 2015

Summer Scenery of Fukushima Prefecture

EMU Fukushima Kotsu 7000 series arrives at Fukushima Station on the Iizaka Line
The hot summer still continues in the Tokyo metropolitan area. According to the weather report, the daytime maximum temperature still reaches 30 degrees Celsius every day. I took a short midsummer holiday, and went to the cool north with my family. This year's destination was Fukushima Prefecture in Tohoku District, some 270 km north of Tokyo.

When we arrived at Fukushima Station by Tohoku Shinkansen, a 2-car small train was standing at the eastern side of the station. It was the EMU Fukushima Kotsu 7000 series on the Iizaka Line. The 7000 series is the ex-Tokyu train built by Tokyu Sharyo from 1963 to 1966. A total of 16 units were moved to Fukushima Kotsu in 1991, when the Iizaka Line was boosted from 750 to 1,500 V DC. Before being transferred, 14 units were modified from non-driving to driving motor cars.

Currently, the 7000 series are operated as Hanamomo (Hana peach) poster trains to promote tourism to Iizaka Hot Spring on the Iizaka Line. The pink-colored decorated face of the train was lovely and was my favorite. For your information, the Iizaka Line is a 9.2 km-long single track railway, connecting Fukushima and Iizaka stations.

After strolling in Fukushima station yard, we headed to San-no-kura Highland, where nearly 2 million sunflowers were blooming on a hill. It was similar to that of Akeno Sunflower Field in Yamanashi Prefecture, but San-no-kura Highland was more large-scale and gorgeous.

We enjoyed the summer scenery of Fukushima Prefecture, both the station and the sunflower field.
Sunflower field of San-no-kura Highland in Fukushima Prefecture
Official information about history and trains of Fukushima Kotsu (in Japanese):