Returning From the Mt. Hiei Hike: Taking The Easy Way Out
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Eizan Ropeway Car I didn't take this  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Eizan Ropeway Car
I didn't take this

Earlier this month I told my tale of out-of-shape hiking woe in “Yesterday’s Hike: The Agony Where Bravado Yields, In Spectacular Fashion, To Painful Reality”. The trip up the mountain was, if you'll excuse the pun, an exercise in pain, but the trip down was a breeze, as I availed myself of a cable car that heads straight up/down the mountain.

In the Japanese vernacular, a “cable car” is a train pulled by a cable. From where that ends near the top, a “ropeway” (as seen above) can bring you the rest of the short distance to the top. The American English in me would have called the ropeway a cable car, and the cable car a train, so I had to relearn those words for Japan.

Hazy View of Northern Kyoto from between Eizan's Ropeway and Cable Car  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 42mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hazy View of Northern Kyoto
from between Eizan's Ropeway and Cable Car

The view from the area where the cable car ends, even though not the top of the mountain, is impressively high, and I was surprised at the sense of height. It feels much higher than from Daimonji, for example (as seen here, here, and here). I want to go back again on a clear day, with a big lens.

And luckily, even out-of-shape me can do so easily thanks to the cable car (though I'm much less out of shape these days, since the exercise the hike prompted me to start).

Cable Car Station  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Cable Car Station
Cable Car #1  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Cable Car #1
Completely Lost The tracks are going down at a precariously steep angle, but it looks almost flat in the photo  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Completely Lost
The tracks are going down at a precariously steep angle, but it looks almost flat in the photo
The Cable There apparently used to be two until recently  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
The Cable
There apparently used to be two until recently
Where #1 and #2 Pass The temple in the background gives a sense of the steepness  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Where #1 and #2 Pass
The temple in the background gives a sense of the steepness
Two Ships Passing in the Night or something like that  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Ships Passing in the Night
or something like that
Bottom Station  --  Mt. Hiei (比叡山)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Bottom Station
Nearby Train Station to bring me most of the rest of the way home  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Nearby Train Station
to bring me most of the rest of the way home

Continued with next year's hike here...


All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

In “Two Ships passing in the Night”, it appears that there is only cable on the left side and that the right side is unused.

They don’t really need a cable to go down (gravity does the work), but what surprises me is that there clearly used to be a cable. If it had simply been the return, where is the return now? And oddly, there is no cable below the passing point, so the car must run off of batteries or some other power to get to that point. It all seems slightly odd to me. —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on June 24th, 2012 at 11:07pm JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

There’s always been only one cable – it’s connecting the two cars and makes a U-turn at the mountain station. 😉 Above both cars you’d see both ends in their guide wheels; between the cars you see one (because one ends at the car that’s above you); and if you’re beneath both cars there’s no cable to be seen at all …

Nitpicking engineer from Stuttgart, in the Wild South of Germany

Ahhh, I see. Wow, that is so much simpler than I ever thought. I feel like an idiot now… it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d do if I were building this out of LEGO with my boy, but somehow I never considered it. They’re really both just hanging by the cable from the U-Turn wheel. Holy cow, it’s so simple, I must be too smart to have thought of it. 🙂 Thanks, Andreas. Now the comment I added to my mom’s comment just above looks all the more stupid, but I deserve it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Andreas Weber on June 24th, 2012 at 11:37pm JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

It’s a very neat design (I’ve used a very similar train in Bad Wildbad, in the Black Forest). Not only do the cars act as a counterweight for the other car; they share a single track as well! You’ve shown that there’s just one point where they have to pass each other; and even that is a fixed installation, with both cars always evading to their respective right.
It just doesn’t scale if two alternating cars weren’t sufficient …

— comment by Andreas Weber on June 25th, 2012 at 12:33am JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

The tricky bit is how do the wheel flanges of one car cross the cable of the other. Also I just can’t work out how that pointwork works. That is frustrating and makes me feel stupid. Perhaps when I am sober I will ‘get it’. Or perhaps a nitt picking engineer from Stuttgart will explain it. We have similar systems in Britain but have not closely examined the passing loop.

— comment by John Youngs on June 25th, 2012 at 5:12am JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I had a look at funicular on Wikipedia. You have a two rail system and how the switch works is obvious when you see how. Very simple and very clever the first time it was done.

Wow, indeed. —Jeffrey

— comment by John Youngs on June 25th, 2012 at 5:21am JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hi…

Was too late… to add the same comments. As I’am from Switzerland, we have “tons” of Cable car like this in our country. Hope you to come and try them.

Have a nice ride 🙂
Fred

— comment by Frédéric on June 25th, 2012 at 5:02pm JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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