Saturday, 11 June 2016

Early Summer on the Odakyu Line

EMU Odakyu 1000 series leaves Tsurumaki-onsen Station on the Odawara Line

It is early summer in Tokyo. Sunlight is strong and the maximum daytime temperature reaches 25 degrees Celsius every day. Before full-blown summer, it is a brief window of comfortable days.

At the end of last month, I visited Kanagawa Prefecture with my family. Our destination was Kobo-yama Park, which is a foothill of Tanzawa Mountains. This natural park is composed of three hills, namely Mt. Sengen, Mt. Kobo and Mt. Gongen. The highest peak is Mt. Gongen, which is 235 m above sea level. Although it is a small peak, steep climbing made us sweat under the strong sunlight. The view from the Mt. Gongen was fantastic. We could see the downtown area of Hadano City behind the deep green forest. Meandering Kaname River was also beautiful and shining.

To get to this scenic spot, the Odakyu-Odawara Line is convenient. It takes about one hour from Shinjuku, a subcenter of Tokyo, by an express train. The EMU 1000 series is one of the representative models on the line. This model was launched in 1988 as Odakyu's first stainless-steel car with induction motors. A total of 36 sets, 196 units have been built by Tokyu Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

In April, 2014, Odakyu made a press release announcing that the EMU 1000 series will be renovated one by one. The rollsigns of destination display devices on the bodies will be changed to the latest LED displays. I have to take pictures of the current appearance at once.

Sceinic view from Mt. Gongen near Hadano Station on the Odawara Line