Thursday, 7 June 2018

Japan's 2nd Highest Mountain on the Minobu Line

EMU JR Central 313 series arrives at Kai-Ueno station on the Minobu line

What is the highest mountain in Japan? It is an easy question for Japanese people. The answer is Mt. Fuji, which is 3,776 meters above sea level. Well, what is the second highest mountain in Japan? It is a difficult question even for Japanese people. The answer is Mt. Kitadake (north peak), which is 3,193 meters above sea level.

There are some reasons why the second question is difficult. It is not number one but just number two. It is not an active volcano. In my opinion, it is because Mt. Kitadake is surrounded by other high mountains. In other words, it is difficult to look at Mt. Kitadake from flatland.

What should we do for viewing Mt. Kitadake? One of the best viewing points is Kofu basin in Yamanashi Prefecture. Specifically, Ichikawa-Misato Town is an excellent place. We can see the snow-capped Mt. Kitadake from the fringe of the basin. The peak of the mountain rises beyond the foothills. It is very beautiful and impressive.

To visit Ichikawa-Misato Town, the JR Central Minobu Line is convenient. The nearest station is Kai-Ueno. The EMU 313 series is the main force for the local trains on the line. It was launched in 1999 to replace the old ex-JNR (Japanese National Railways) models. The stainless body with a white "face" and an orange stripe is very cool. It is composed of two or three cars with four 185 kW induction motors per unit. The maximum speed is 130 km per hour.

Mt. Kitadake (north peak) is 3,193 meters above sea level

Official information about the EMU JR Central 313 series (in Japanese):