Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sightseeing Train to Mt. Kurama

EMU Eiden 900 series stands at Kurama Station on the Kurama Line
 
Kuramadera is an old Buddhist temple founded in 770. Although the original main hall had been destroyed by fire in its long history, some of the old Buddha statues are still preserved. They are designated as National Treasures. Kuramadera is located within a deep forest on Mt. Kurama in Kyoto Prefecture, some 500 km west of Tokyo. It is said that Tengu (a goblin) lives in the forest. Tengu is a legendary creature, who has a red face and a long nose.

To get to this mysterious mountain, the Kurama Line of Eizan Electric Railway (Eiden) is convenient. Connecting Takaragaike and Kurama stations, the length of the Kurama Line is 8.8 km. The track is mostly double and the gauge size is 1,435 mm. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead. All trains are directly operated onto the Eizan Main Line to Demachiyanagi Terminal in Kyoto City.

One of the popular trains on the Kurama Line is the EMU 900 series, called Kirara. The 900 series debuted in 1997 to promote tourism to Mt. Kurama. A total of two sets, four units have been built by Mukogawa Sharyo. The 900 series has large windows and special seats, which provide passengers with the fantastic scenery of Mt. Kurama.

For your information, the 900 series was a winner of the 1998 Laurel Prize awarded by Japan Rail Fan Club. This special prize is awarded to trains, which were launched in the previous year as the most outstanding technical and designed ones.

 
Kuramadera near Kurama Station on the Eiden-Kurama Line
 
Official information about the EMU Eiden 900 series (in Japanese):