Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Silver Grass Field on the Izukyu Line

EMU Izukyu 2100 series, Alpha Resort 21, arrives at Ajiro Station (March, 2013)
Along with Sengokubara on Hakone Mountain, Hosono Highland is famous for the silver grass field on the Izu Peninsula. Silver grass is listed as one of the seven autumn grasses in Japan. It has been used for the roofs of farmers' houses as well as feedstuff. When I visited Hosono Highland last week, a lot of rabbit ears of silver grass were still seen in the field. They have already changed color from green to silver, and further to gold. I could enjoy the swinging silver grass in the breeze using both my eyes and ears.

To get to this vast silver grass field, please get off at Kawazu Station on the Izukyu Line. It takes about two and a half hours by the limited express train, Odoriko, from Tokyo Station. It will be directly operated from the JR East Tokaido Main Line onto the Izukyu Line.

Izukyu is a private railway based on the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture. Connecting Ito on the JR Line and Izukyu-Shimoda, its operating length is 45.7 km. The track is single and electrified. The gauge size is 1,067 mm and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. It was opened in 1961 as a sightseeing line to promote tourism to the Izu Peninsula. Among the Izukyu train fleet, a gorgeous train, EMU 2100 series, "Alpha Resort 21", is my favorite, but it has been under inspection in Izu-kogen Depot since September. A bit disappointing!

Silver grass field near Kawazu Station on the Izukyu Line