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Hidden Wonders

[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Rolling Along the Inokashira Line in Hydrangea Season

Trains of one hidden gem rail line in Tokyo celebrate June with the beauty of hydrangeas along the tracks. Ready for a ride?

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The Keio Railway Company premiered a train celebrating the floral display along the Inokashira line tracks in May 2022. (Photo by Kenji Suzuki)

Colorful hydrangeas planted on the slopes along the railway line are in full bloom near Shindaita Station (Setagaya ward, Tokyo) along the Keio Inokashira Line. The private railway operated by Keio Corporation runs between Shibuya Station and Kichijoji, linking 17 stations along 12.7 km of track. 

Sporting a hydrangea nameplate, a new train car was added in May, 2022, celebrating the colorful floral display along the tracks. It’s only on one train car, though, so you will need a little luck to see it.

Lots of Flowers

Hydrangeas, sasanqua​ (a variety of camellia), azaleas, and other various blooming plants were planted along the line in 1990. Not only do they provide a beautiful floral display for passengers to enjoy through the different seasons, but they also help strengthen the slope along the track, reducing landslides when there is heavy rainfall.

More than 24,000 hydrangeas are planted along the railway line, and there are several spots which are particularly well known for enjoying them. Some train conductors even make announcements, reminding passengers that: "You can see the hydrangea in full bloom from the train window."

Train and flower lovers can find hydrangeas planted between: Shindaita and Higashi-matsubara stations, Higashi-matsubara and Meidaimae stations, Nishi-eifuku  and Hamadayama stations, Kugayama and Mitakadai stations. The best time to enjoy these flowers is in the last half of June.

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(Read the article in Japanese at this link.)

Author: Kenji Suzuki, Photojournalism Section

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