Riding the Eizan Railway to Kurama

The small Eizan Railway network runs north from the Kamogawa and Takano River Delta at Demachiyanagi, providing access to the Kichijoji foothills, the Shugaku-in Imperial Villa, and Takaragaike Park, where a northeastern spur leads to the cable car station for Mount Hiei. The Eizan’s Kurama Line continues northward for the mountain villages of Kibune and Kurama, following the picturesque and secluded Kurama River Valley. The compact Eizan trains pass closely through a forest of maple trees that create a vibrant tunnel of warm swirling colors in the autumn.

Riding the Eizan Railway to Kurama Photo Gallery



A large bright red tengu goblin, mischievous long-nosed guardian of the mountains and forests, awaits arrivals at Kurama Station, the railway’s terminus. A short cable railway leads partway up the steep, richly forested mountainside to Kuramadera, a temple founded in 770 as a wilderness refuge for meditation. Surrounded by striking mountain vistas, the meditative wildness endures. A splendid hiking trail winds up and down across Mount Kurama, seemingly right off the top of most Kyoto maps, making its roundabout way to the Kibune River Valley and the ancient Kibune Shrine set amidst sacred cryptomeria trees. A beautiful gently curving road follows the sparkling river down to Kibuneguchi Station for a ride south to modern civilization back in central Kyoto.

Eizan’s Kurama Line passes through a tunnel-like canopy of autumn foliage.

Kuramadera’s Reihoden Museum has a spectacular perch.

The vermilion torii gate marking the road to Kibune Shrine blends with the seasonal hues of the forest.

The remote temple garden at Entsu-ji incorporates the distant Mount Hiei.

Kids taking their local train home from school.

A mischievous tengu guardian watches over Kurama Station.

An iridescent veranda view at the Amida Buddha Hall of Kuramadera Temple.

Embarking from Kibuneguchi Station.

The rustic wooden Ninose Station is a clue that this train is headed deeper into the mountains.

Casual anglers wade in the clear river waters of the Takanogawa River below Mount Hiei.

Snowy stone stairs and traditional lanterns lead to Kibune Shrine.

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