Friday, 30 March 2018

2018 Sakura Season in Tokyo: The Inokashira Line

EMU Keio 1000 series travels on the Inokashira Line backed by fully bloomed Sakura trees

On March 17th, the Meteorological Agency of Japan declared that sakura (cherry) blossoms had started blooming in Tokyo. The agency then reported that they fully blossomed on March 24th.

As I post year after year, Japanese people harbor romantic emotions towards sakura blossoms. We are also reminded of the emptiness of life seeing the beautiful blossoms dropping only a week after they fully blossom. This season is precious for us. Sakura viewing is a part of Japanese culture; famous sakura spots are crowded with admirers. They spread mats on the ground under the blossoms, and have parties with their family, friends and colleagues.

This year, I visited Takaido, which is close to my parents' house. We can see beautiful sakura trees on the bank of the Kanda River and the Keio-Inokashira Line. It is a place filled with memories for me since I went to a kindergarten in Takaido when I was a kid. We kindergarten pupils often walked along the stream and the track with our teacher seeing the fully bloomed sakura trees and the rattling trains.

Currently, the EMU 1000 series is the sole model on the Inokashira Line. It was launched in 1996 to replace the old model, the 3000 series. A total of 29 sets were built by Tokyu Sharyo and Nippon Sharyo. The 1000 series comprises five 20 m-long cars. The first batch is composed of two motor cars and three trailers, while the second batch is changed to consist of three motor cars and two trailers to prevent from racing.

A fully bloomed Sakura tree and the EMU Keio 1000 series