Eizan Train Line’s “Fall-Foliage Tunnel” Lightup
, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Eizan Train Line's “Fall Foliage Tunnel” Evening Lightup Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/10 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Eizan Train Line's “Fall Foliage Tunnel” Evening Lightup
Kyoto, Japan

The Eizan Train Line (eizan dentetsu, or eiden for short) is a little train line that runs from north-east Kyoto up into the mountains to the village of Kurama, just past Kibune. I've posted about Kibune many times, most recently a week ago when I visited with Thomas, although the area is known more for its summertime dining over the river and, er, noodle fishing. Anyway, despite having gone up that way many times, I'd never taken the train, until today.

Fumie's been under the weather for the last week or two, but felt good enough today that we all went on a ride through Eizan's “Fall Foliage Tunnel”, a section of the track through a mountain forest of colorful trees that's lit up by rows of floodlights during the evening.

Japanese love their lightup events — fall colors, cherry blossoms, and no particular reason – and I love them too, because they're really pretty. The train's “tunnel” lightup is part of a larger “Kibune Lightup”, which runs in the evenings from the 13th to the 30th this month. I've never seen it, but it looks extremely photogenic.

Anyway, we took a taxi the one mile to the start of the train line, and took a train that left at 5pm, a few minutes after the 4:49pm sunset...

Ready to Depart we just need a driver -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec handheld, f/4.5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Depart
we just need a driver

Twenty minutes later it was pretty dark, especially in the mountains under the trees. As we approached the “tunnel”, the driver slowed down and turned off all the lights in the train.

, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos “Momiji Tunnel” ( “fall-foliage tunnel” ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/13 sec handheld, f/4, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
“Momiji Tunnel”
( “fall-foliage tunnel” )

It was very nice, but it would have been nicer had people who had been sitting for the whole trip not come rushing up trying to take a picture in front of me, some using their flash (which turns the window into a mirror). Sigh.

But it was nice for the minute or so that it lasted. A bit later, we got off at the end of the line, Kurama, one stop past all the lightup stuff at Kibune. Kurama has a big shrine and apparently can hold its own fall-color wise during the day, but at night it was more or less deserted. Luckily, we found a small restaurant that was still open, and had dinner.

Heading back, we happened to catch one of the special “kirara” trains that has a few sideways-facing seats, although we opted for regular seats. The train wasn't that full from the mostly-deserted Kurama, but it filled right up at the next station, Kibune.

Loading Up at Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Loading Up at Kibune
Short Pause at Ninose Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/60 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Short Pause at Ninose Station
, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Flying Through the Tunnel at 12 kph (7mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/40 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Flying Through the Tunnel
at 12 kph (7mph)
All Done -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
All Done

It was really nice, and now I'm itching to go up and explore that Kibune lightup....


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

These are great. I really love the first one. Nice job.

— comment by Tom on November 20th, 2008 at 12:32am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey,
I’m from Singapore. After reading your blog on Eizan autumn lightup, I’m itching to go Kurama too 🙂 Plan to visit Kyoto from 17th-21st Nov. Do you think the light up will be there during my visit? By chance, do you know if I can use my Kansai Thru Pass on the Kirara train or only regular train on the Kurama line?

I’m thrilled with your pics of the flowing noodles. Pls help me with the directions to the place.

Thank you for lovely blog on your travel..it’s really wonderful!
Cheers,
June

The “momiji tunnel” runs from Nov 13 through Nov 29, so you’ll be fine. There are no special tickets for these trains… they’re like any other commuter train except they slow down and sometimes stop for a bit where it’s really pretty, so anything that gets you onto the train line will be good for these trains. You’ll want to take up position in the front/rear (or wherever you want) right away, and hold onto it for dear life, because once it gets pretty, people who have been relaxing in chairs will suddenly like the idea of occupying the half inch of space between you and the window. As for the noodles, the map links are under each picture, but I’m sure they’re through for the season already. —Jeffrey

— comment by June Jersey on October 17th, 2009 at 8:45pm JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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