Thursday, 17 September 2015

Gypsy Rose on the Chuo Line

EMU JR East 211 series stands at Kami-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line

It is early autumn in Japan. Although it is still hot in Tokyo, the weather has become gradually cooler. I visited the countryside to look for an advent of autumn. My destination was Kurumayama Highland in Nagano Prefecture, some 150 km west of Tokyo.

Kurumayama is nearly 2,000m high above the sea, and famous for its beautiful scenery. Millions of holidaymakers visit this highland resort throughout the year. Apart from its beautiful scenery, there are many pleasures in Kurumayama Highland. The blossom of Gypsy rose (Scabiosa japonica) is definitely my favorite. It is about a 4 cm across tiny blossom with a pale purple color. It is very rare, since Gypsy rose is only seen in grasslands of mountainous areas in Japan.

To visit Kurumayama Highland, please take the JR East Chuo Line and get off at Kami-Suwa Station. As you know, the old 115 series local trains in the Nagano area have been recently replaced by the 211 series. It is a bit sad for me not being able to meet with the old 115 series.

The EMU 211 series have been moved from the Takasaki, Utsunomiya and Tokaido Main lines. It has a stainless-steel body with light blue and emerald colored stripes. I still feel that something is out of place when I see the 211 series on the Chuo Line; however, I will soon become accustomed to this new scenery.

All things are constantly changing.

A blossom of Matsumushisou (Gypsy rose)