Thursday, 6 July 2017

Hydrangea Garden on the Sotobo Line

Set C438 of the EMU JR East 209 series travels on the Sotobo Line

The season of hydrangea flowers in downtown Tokyo has almost ended, but still continues in suburban areas. Mobara, which is located about 75 km east of Tokyo, is one such area. Hatttori-noen (Hattori Farm) is one of the famous hydrangea gardens in Mobara City, Chiba Prefecture.

Hattori Farm looks like just an ordinary farmer's house standing in front of a small hill, but once you enter the gate, you will see a marvelous view. There is a carpet of hydrangeas blooming on the slope of the hill. They are purple, blue, pink and white colored. The sizes of the flowers look larger than those in the other gardens. I saw plenty of holidaymakers who seemed to come from not only the city but also outside the prefecture like me.

The nearest station to Hattori Farm is Mobara on the JR East Sotobo Line. Mobara is a large station as it is the central station of the city. Each day, 25 limited express trains, Wakashio, stop at this station. It takes 54 minutes from Tokyo Station. It is quite convenient, but I used a local train this time as I had enough time.

The local train operated on the Sotobo Line is the EMU 209-2000 and the 209-2100 series. Both models were launched in 2009 on the Sotobo Line. The 209-2000 series has pneumatic passenger doors; meanwhile the 209-2100 series has electric passenger doors. They are composed of 6-car and 4-car trains with 4 and 2 motorcars.

Hydrangea garden in Hattori Farm near Mobara Station on the JR East Sotobo Line