Saturday, 10 February 2018

Illuminated Icicles on the Seibu-Chichibu Line

EMU Seibu 40000 series passes by the icicles on the Chichibu Line

Icicles have recently become popular winter events in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Along with street illuminations in the urban areas, many people flock to see icicles in the suburban areas in this coldest season of the year. There are two kinds of icicles. One is natural and the other is artificial. I am going to show you the artificial one today.

Ashigakubo Icicle is a famous winter event held in Yokoze Town in Saitama Prefecture, about 80 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. The venue is in a small valley named Hyonosawa. Drawing and sprinkling the river water on a forest, the local people create gorgeous icicles in the valley. The maximum height of the pillars is 30 meters above the riverbed. They are colorfully illuminated on weekend evenings.

To get to this fantastic spot, the Seibu-Chichibu line train is convenient. The nearest station is Ashigakubo. It takes only 70 minutes from Ikebukuro terminal in the subcenter of Tokyo by a limited express train, "New Red Arrow". The venue of the icicles is only a 10-minute walk from the station.

You can also see the icicles from the train windows. Some trains travel slowly by the icicles to entertain passengers. I saw S-train passed through the icicles very slowly when I visited the spot. S-train is Seibu's popular seat-reservation train directly operated onto the Tokyo Metro-Fukutoshin Line, the Yurakucho Line, the Tokyu-Toyoko Line and the Minato Mirai Line. The commissioned vehicle for the S-train is the EMU Seibu 40000 series, which debuted in March last year.

Illuminated icicles are seen near Ashigakubo Station on the Seibu-Chichibu Line

Official information about the EMU Seibu 40000 series (in Japanese):
Official information about the S-train (in Japanese):