Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mitake Tozan Railway: New Colors

Funicular "Mitake" of the Mitake Tozan Railway
 
The hot summer still continues in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The only thing we can do is escape the city and go to somewhere cool. I visited Mt. Mitake for the first time in three years with my family last weekend. Mt. Mitake is located 50 km west of downtown Tokyo, and is known as a sanctuary for mountain worship. Although the peak is only 929 m above sea level, it is a steep mountain, surrounded by a deep forest.

To climb up Mt. Mitake, Mitake Tozan Railway is convenient. It was opened in 1934 as a funicular route. Connecting Takimoto and Mitakesan stations, its line length is 1,107m. The height difference between the two stations is 423.6m. The maximum inclination of the route is 25 degrees. The gauge size is 1,049 mm, which is quite rare in this country. The operating interval is every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the congestion situation.

Last year, the color of the funiculars was changed in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the company. The one vehicle was changed to red and another is green. The name of the vehicles was also changed. One was changed from Aozora (blue sky) to Mitake and another was changed from Hinode (sunrise) to Musashi (old name of Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture).

After arriving at Mitakesan Station, we enjoyed full-blown rengeshouma (Anemonopsis macrophylla). It is very rare lovely blossom seen in deep forests in Japan. We had losts of enjoyment in Mt. Mitake.

 
Full-blown rengeshouma is seen near Mitakesan Station on the Mitake Tozan Railway