Thursday, September 24, 2015

Large Straw Sandals on the Yokohama Municipal Subway

EMU Yokohama Municipal Subway 3000S series stands at Totsuka Station
 
Tokaido is the main trunk railway route in Japan. Connecting Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, and Kobe, the old port city in Hyogo Prefecture, its total length of the route is 590 km.

What was it like to travel on the Tokaido before inauguration of the railway? People were obliged to travel on horseback, in a palanquin or on foot. "Waraji (straw sandals)" were essential for travelers as footwear. They traveled on the Tokaido Road and stayed in the inns at the post stations. Local people made the large straw sandals and displayed them on the street in Totsuka post station. It was a symbol of safe travel. Travelers stopped by there to pray for their safety on the long journey.

Today, travelers don't stop by ex-Totsuka Post Station on the old Tokaido Road anymore, as they use railways, automobiles or airplanes. The large "waraji" has become not necessary for travelers; however, local people continue to make it regularly to pray for traffic safety in the Totsuka area.

To get to this historical spot, please take the Tokaido Main Line or the Blue Line of Yokohama Municipal Subway and get off at Yokosuka Station. The EMU 3000S series is the newest model on the Blue Line. It was launched in 2005 as the fourth batch of the 3000 series group. A total of 8 sets, 48 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo. The blue colored stripe on the front takes passengers' eyes.
 
The large straw sandals are seen on the old Tokaido Road near Totsuka Station