Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tokyo Night Walking: 2017 Shinjuku "Minamillumi"

Set G6+G7 of the EMU JR East 485 series, Hana (flower), stands at Shinjuku Station

Following the Shibuya Blue Cave, I am going to show you the other winter illuminations in Tokyo today.

Shinjuku is the world's largest railway station. Trains of five companies and one public corporation arrive at and leave this giant terminal. The ridership of Shinjuku is 3.5 million passengers per day. In this season, the passengers can see beautiful street illuminations, which are called Minamillumi, in the southern side of the station. This year, the trees on the street were decorated with pink colored LED lights. The street was all pink. I saw many couples, groups and families enjoying walking under the millions of lights. 

On the way back home, I found a Hana train standing at Shinjuku Station. Hana (flower) is one of the "ozashiki trains" operated by JR East. Its formal name is set G6+G7 of the EMU 485 series, which belongs to JR East Oyama Rail Yard. It is a 6-car AC-DC dual electric system train. The interior of Hana is arranged as a Japanese-type room. The floor is straw-matted with Japanese style low tables so that the passengers are relaxed taking off their shoes as if they are at home. Hana is usually operated as a chartered train to go to and from resort areas. For instance, I once came across Hana train at Ootsuki Station, which was closed to Mt. Fuji, a famous resort area in the western suburb of Tokyo.

Looking at the fantastic street illuminations and the rare ozashiki train, I enjoyed winter night walking in Shinjuku.

Street illuminations, "Minamillumi", near Shinjuku Station