In a departure from the usual form of transport of HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto we'll be taking the train! The Eizen Railway has two lines, one which runs between Demachiyanagi and Kurama, and a second between Demachiyanagi and Yase-Hieizanguchi. HIDDEN PATHS recently rode both lines using the 'sightseeing panorama train' KIRARA between Demachiyanagai and Kuruma, and took the regular train from Tagaragaike to Yase-Hieizanguchi, before returning back to Demachiyanagi. In this blog post we will cover the first journey on the KIRARA train.
This particular train get's it's name of the panorama train due to the positioning of the seating and the large windows on both sides. Although a good portion of the journey is through residential areas, once out into the greenery the benefit of the large windows is clearly evident. And, after about 20 minutes from Demachiyanagi station, the train reaches an area along the route between Ichihara station and Ninose station, called the “Maple Tree Tunnel”. At this point you can enjoy the foliage of the maple trees, especially popular in the autumn when the leaves have changed to the autumunal red. This part of the journey is about 250 metres long so doesn't last very long but is worth it.
Two stops after Ninose and the train arrives at Kuruma, famous for the tales of the 12th century exiled samurai hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune and how he trained in martial arts with the Tengu of Mount Kuruma. You can also pay a visit to Kuruma-dera Temple.
When HIDDEN PATHS took this journey the intention was to only ride the train on the Eizen lines so it was a straight return journey (there is only a matter of minutes before the train goes back). We alighted the train halfway back towards Demachiyanagi at Takaragaike Station and changed train and line to head towards Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. We will cover that journey in the next blog post.
For the latest HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto routes pick up a copy of the brand new 6th volume in the series in digital or paperback formats from any region of Amazon.