What’s so flawed with taking the local train to Chichibu?
It’s been 11 years because the release of the anime Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, a touching story about childhood friendships and loss that’s one among our otaku reporter Seiji Nakazawa’s favorites. The anime is ready in Chichibu, a small, picturesque mountain city within the prefecture of Saitama just outside of Tokyo, and for Seiji, Chichibu is sort of a second hometown. It’s so near his heart that he forgot it wasn’t physically near him too.
▼ An Anohana poster
But a recent trip to Chichibu to fulfill his editor Go Hatori reminded him just how distant it’s. By local train, it could possibly take about two hours from Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Station, since Seibu Chichibu Station is the last station on the Seibu Chichibu Line and probably the most western and most northern station of any Seibu Railway line. The road travels through villages and over hills via mountain passes, so going there looks like happening vacation.
The local train ticket cost 786 yen (US$5.85), and because it’s an extended ride, Seiji boarded the train for Seibu Chichibu early within the morning as a way to make his meeting with Go. The within was nearly empty. The one other passengers within the automobile were a middle-aged couple, whose drunken bickering could possibly be heard distantly over the lulling catank catank of the cars as they rolled over the railroad. The experience was actually quite soothing. The silence beyond silence within the automobile made Seiji wonder if that was what it meant to experience wabisabi.
So nice was his experience that, when Seiji arrived at Seibu Chichibu and met up with Go, he began to inform Go all about it. Suddenly, Go flipped out.
Go: “You dozed off the local train on the best way here? You’re not alleged to ride the local train! Are you kidding me, man? Seriously? Come on.”
Seiji: “Wait…are you mad?”
Go: “I’m not mad. But so long as I’m not mad you won’t understand, probably. That’s where the challenge for me lies. Yeah. Well…should I be mad? Yeah.”
Seiji was completely baffled by his normally even-tempered editor’s indignant mutters. He couldn’t understand what was so flawed with taking the local train. It’s not like he’d arrived late. He’d actually gotten to Seibu Chichibu Station before Go. So why was Go impulsively so mad that he stormed back as much as the train platform without even taking the time to depart the station and take some pictures? Knowing that our bosses only ever get mad for our sakes, Seiji decided to ask.
Seiji: “Why are you mad?”
Go: “How could you come to Seibu Chichibu without riding the Tokyu Laview?!”
Seiji: “Sorry…The what?”
Go: “Come on, man! How did you travel from Ikebukuro to Chichibu without knowing in regards to the Tokyu Laview? The seats are soft and cozy they usually include pillows. Once it leaves Ikebukuro, it only stops at 4 stations so it doesn’t even feel that far to Chichibu! Plus, although it’s mainly like a bullet train to Chichibu, it only costs 710 yen greater than the local train! You may’t beat that cost performance. What were you pondering?!”
Seiji: “That does sound like a superb deal…”
Go: “The craziest thing in regards to the Laview is the windows. They’re huge! They mainly go all the best way right down to your feet, so you may see all the pieces. Your whole upper body is open to the window, so you are feeling such as you’re flying over the gorges. The entire point of meeting here was so we could ride this train!”
▼ Go, pointing proudly on the Laview’s windows
Seiji: “So I woke up at 6 a.m. for this?”
Go: “Should you’d ridden the Tokyu Laview, you almost certainly could have slept in additional. What type of idiot involves Chichibu without riding the Laview?!”
It was now clear to Seiji that Go was so seduced by the charms of the Tokyu Laview that he was outraged that somebody would even consider coming to Chichibu without riding it. So without even leaving the station…
Go dragged Seiji onto the following Laview…
They usually rode the posh liner home together.
▼ “Ah…so comfortable.”
So the following time you select to go to Chichibu, whether to experience their stunning icicle world in winter or the colourful display of pink moss fields within the spring (like on the Mt. Fuji shibazakura fields), ensure you ride the posh liner Laview, lest Go hears about it and provides you an earful.