Monday, March 28, 2016

Full-blown Plum Grove on the Musashino Line

EMU JR East 205 series arrives at Fuchu-Honmachi Station on the Musashino Line

After my visit to Ookunitama Shrine in the downtown area of Fuchu City, I headed to "Native Forest" in the southwestern part of the city. Native Forest is a complex facility consisting of an open-air museum of historical buildings, an in-door museum of the local cultures, a planetarium, restaurants and a large plum grove.

In this season, the full-blown plum grove attracts visitors. The plum blossoms are mainly white, but also some pink and red. They are very fragrant. Visitors can feel the advent of spring in their own way. Several special events, such as street performances and tea ceremonies, are also held during the plum blooming season.

After enjoying Native Forest, I took the JR East Musashino Line from Fuchu-Honmachi Station. My vehicle was the EMU 205 series with orange and black-colored stripes. The 205 series was launched in 1985 by Japanese National Railways. It is 1,500 V DC EMU with a field added excitation control system. This model once formed the largest group of commuter trains in Tokyo; however, most of them have already been retired from the track. They have moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to spend their second life on the KRL Jabodetabek (Jakarta Metropolitan Commuter Electric Railway).

The Musashino Line functions as an inter-suburbs railway in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Eight-car passenger trains are operated every ten minutes on average, but it is always crowded with passengers. The 205 series still plays a major role in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Full blown plum grove in the Native Forest near Fuchu-Honmachi Station