Yes, the kawazu sakura are beautiful, but that’s not all there is to see here.

Every year when sakura season rolls around, photography fans in Japan grab their cameras and head out to snap pictures of the cherry blossoms. Though we’re still a few weeks away from the blooming of the somei yoshino, Japan’s most prevalent variety of sakura, the early-blossoming kawazu sakura have already arrived.

While sakura are a favorite springtime subject for shutterbugs in Japan, trains are something they’ve got a soft spot for all year round. So last weekend when Japanese Twitter user @velous_93 went to Kanagawa Prefecture’s Miura Peninsula, around an hour and a half south of Tokyo, he found a great vantage point near Misakiguchi Station where he could see both train tracks and the cherry blossom trees. Then he waited, and fortune smiled on him.

Rolling down the tracks of the Keikyu Kurihama Line came the Keikyu Happy Yellow Train. While it’s not any faster or more luxurious than the line’s ordinary trains, the bright yellow color always brings a smile to rail fans’ faces, and made for a nice contrast with the kawazu sakura, which have a more distinctly pink hue than many other types of cherry blossoms.

So pretty great timing, right? Yes, but it gets even better, because at the moment @velous_93 pressed the shutter button…

…the conductor flashed him a peace sign!

Odds are this wasn’t a coincidence. As mentioned above, “trains and cherry blossoms” is a genre unto itself in Japanese photography, and rail staff working on such a scenic stretch of the line can expect people to be taking photos of their vehicles as a matter of course at this time of year. Still, this kind of personal salutation gives @velous_93’s a special springtime serendipity, and elevates it to an even higher level of smile-producing power.

“This is so much nicer than when that JR conductor flipped off a rail fan,” said one commenter, while another mentioned rumors of Keikyu’s friendliness standards being such that employees are taught to always wave back when a child waves to them. A few voiced concerns about the potential safety hazard of the employee flashing a peace sign while the train is in motion, but others pointed out that judging from his position and posture, it’s a different employee who’s actually driving the train, while Peace Guy’s responsibilities are for when the train is stopped at or pulling away from a station.

▼ Some more of @velous_93’s sakura photography

Since sakura bloom for such a short time, they’re sometimes seen as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of human relationships, and thus assigned a certain bittersweet quality. But @velous_93’s photo is a reminder that there will always be happy little surprises in life, and even if they take place in a matter of seconds, those positive feelings can last long much longer.

Source, images: Twitter/@velous_93
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