Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Classic Funicular in Ooyama

Funicular "Tanzawa" leaves Ooyama-dera Station on the Ooyama Sightseeing Electric Railway

Along with Mt. Takao (see my blog on September 24th, 2011) and Mt. Mitake (see my blog on June 13th, 2012), Ooyama (large mountain) is an easy visiting sightseeing spot in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It is located some 50km west of Tokyo, and designated as a part of Tanzawa-Oyama Quasi-National Park. To get to Ooyama, take the Odakyu Line and get off at Isehara Station. Then, you can take a bus to the foot of the mountain.

One of the things the visitors look forward to the most is a funicular of the Ooyama Sightseeing Electric Railway. Connecting "Ooyama Cable" and Afuri Shrine stations, the total operating length is 0.8km. The height difference between the highest and lowest points of the route is 278m. It is very small scale; however, a number of holidaymakers take this lovely classic funicular to enjoy a vacation trip. The route was opened in 1931. The current funiculars, namely "Ooyama" and "Tanzawa" were launched in 1965, when the line was renovated.

Although the bodies of the funiculars were redesigned and renovated in 1994 and 2005, they still retain the classic atmosphere of the 1960s. For example, the three rounded lights and two large windows on the front are typical train designs of the 1960's. They are my favorite.

After arriving at Afuri Shrine Terminal, most of the tourists visit the shrine and enjoy a spectacular view of the Kanto Plain below and Sagami Bay with Enoshima Island in the distance.

Superb view from Afuri Shrine near Afuri Shrine Station on the Ooyama Sightseeing Electric Railway
More information about the Ooyama Sightseeing Electric Railway (in Japanese):