Saturday, 11 May 2019

Spring Sightseeing Season on the Ito Line

Set Ne012 of the EMU JR East E259 series, Marine Express Odoriko, arrives at Ito station

It is a spring sightseeing season in the Tokyo metropolitan area. We can see the beautiful seasonal blossoms here and there. They are fully blown in open fields, hills, public parks and private gardens.

I recently visited Komuroyama Park in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture with my family. Komuroyama is a small volcano and famous for its azalea blossoms. It was in peak blooming season and a flower festival was being held in the park. We saw that a traditional drumming team from a local high school was giving visitors a powerful performance. The park was filled with a rhythmic beat by the boys and girls.

To get to this spring paradise, the JR East Ito line and the connecting bus service was convenient. It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Tokyo to Ito by a limited express train. Most of the trains are directly operated onto the local private railway, the Izukyu line.

On my way back home, I came across JR East's limited express train, "Marine Express Odoriko", at Ito station. The EMU E259 series was commissioned for this train. As you may know, the E259 series is normally operated as an airport access train named "Narita Express" between the downtown Tokyo area and the New Tokyo International Airport (Narita Airport), but it is also operated between Tokyo and Izukyu-Shimoda via Ito in peak vacation seasons. You can see a special emblem for Marine Express Odoriko on the front of the train.

The spring sightseeing season continues.

Traditional drumming performance by Hiryu High School Team at Komuroyama Park