Not simply a means of transportation. The Tozan Railway is a tourist attraction itself
Located in the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture, the Hakone Tozan Railway climbing Mt. Hakone is a prominent mountain range railroad of Japan. It starts from Odawara, but this mountain railroad spans 8.9km from Hakone-Yumoto Station to Gora Station and covers an elevation of 450m through 7 stations. Naturally there are the steep slopes, but there are three other things to enjoy. One is the switchback. Since it runs on a slope of changing elevation, the cars change direction in a zigzag pattern. The driver and conductor also switch with each other. There are 3 switchback points, so the unique thing is that the lead car ultimately ends up as the last car. The second thing is the sharp curves with a radius of only 30m. The sharp curves that would befit the Tozan are like something out of a model railroad. The final thing is Hayakawa Bridge. Also called the Deyama Iron Bridge, this is the highlight section of the railway. It is the oldest surviving iron bridge in Japan, and at a height of 43m, the view is superb. Along with being selected as one of “The Top 100 Bridges of Kanagawa”, it has also been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property.
The scenery of the four seasons is also another thing to enjoy
The cherry blossoms of spring, the fresh leaves of early summer, the hydrangea of the rainy season, the colors of fall and the snowscapes of winter. There is no way you will ever tire of the landscape throughout the four seasons as viewed from the car window no matter how often you go through the area. The Tozan Railway has the nickname of the Ajisai (Hydrangea) Train from late June to early July, and there is a seasonal operation of the Night Hydrangea (all seats are reservation only). And at the Hayakawa Bridge, the train runs more slowly than usual and it stops up ahead at the Deyama signal station for a short while, so these become photo spots only on the Tozan Railway where you can enjoy some dynamic scenery at either point.