Thursday, December 5, 2013

Night Viewing Spot on the Rokko Cable Line

Funicular, unit number 1 and 3 on the Rokko Cable Line (Operation is suspended) 
 
The Rokko mountain range is a resort area of Kobe City, some 600km west of Tokyo. It is located just behind the urban area. Development of Rokko started as a cottage area for foreigners in the late 19th century. The Rokko mountain range is also known as a night viewing spot. Along with Hakodate and Nagasaki, it is known as one of the three major night viewing spots in Japan.

To enjoy the night view, the most reputable route is to take the Rokko Cable Line. This funicular route was opened in 1932. Connecting Rokko Cable-shita and Rokko-sanjo, the total operating length is 1.7km. It is the second longest funicular route in Japan. The height difference between the highest and lowest points of the route is 493m. The train is operated every 20 minutes. It takes 10 minutes from Rokko Cable-shita to Rokko-sanjo station. To transport flocking sightseers, the operating company introduced 2 sets of 2-car trains, namely, unit number 1+3 and 2+4 in 1999.

On September 16th this year, a large scale typhoon hit Kobe City. The Rokko Cable Line was severely damaged due to rock fall. Currently, the operation is suspended, and substitute bus services are being provided. The operating company is speeding up the reconstruction effort and the company recently made an announcement that the operation will be resumed in late January next year.

I wish the funicular route a speedy recovery.

 
Night view of Kobe City and Osaka Bay from Rokko-sanjo Station on the Rokko Cable Line
 
More information about the Rokko Cable Line (in Japanese): http://www.rokkosan.com/cable/