Saturday, 21 November 2020

Origin of Koetsu-gaki Fence in Kyoto City

Unit 625 of the Electric Car Randen MoBo 621 series stands at Arashiyama terminal
Koetsu-ji is a Buddhist temple located in Takagamine, Kita Ward, Kyoto City. It was originally the residence of Hon-ami Koetsu who was a famous artist in the 17th century. The site was granted to Koetsu from Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1615. After the death of Koetsu, this residence was turned into the temple named Koetsu-ji in 1656. Today, the temple is known for its beautiful bamboo fences called Koetsu-gaki, and it also features an elegant tea ceremony garden with three tea houses with thatched roofs. I visited Koetsu-ji with my family in September, and enjoyed its Koetsu-gaki fence, beautiful garden and a nice view of Mt. Takagamine.

To visit Koetsu-ji temple, the nearest station is Arashiyama on the Arashiyama main line of Keifuku Electric Railway (Randen). Our vehicle was Unit 625 of the electric car MoBo 621 series. It's a 15 meter-long small tramcar. The MoBo 621 series was originally launched in 1936 under the name of the 121 series. 10 cars were built by Kawasaki-sharyo. About a half century later, six cars of the 121 series were renovated by Mukogawa-sharyo due to deterioration. Their DC motors, the bogies and the electric control system were inherited from the 121 series. On the other hand, their bodies were newly built. Unit 625 was completed in 1996. It has a light purple colored tiny body. It's beautiful and definitely my favorite.

I fully enjoyed both the traditional garden and the tramcar in the old capital.

Koetsu-gaki fence in Koetsu-ji temple