Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 54 (Scenery)

New Japanese Railway Scenery 14

East Fuji Sengen Shrine

East Fuji Sengen Shrine at the base of trails leading up to the peak of Mt Fuji is one of the five shrines around this sacred mountain and one of 1316 shrines in Japan dedicated to worship it. The shrine was built in 807 to thank the gods for stopping the volcano’s eruptions following a sacred ritual in 802. Located near Gotemba Station, the shrine is very popular with climbers praying for safety.

Gotemba Line

JR Central’s Series 211 railcar services running between Gotemba and Ashigara stations in central Japan. The 60.2-km track connects Kozu in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture. The line opened in 1889 as a part of the Tokaido main line. Number of passengers declined significantly after this section became a branch line and was renamed Gotemba Line on 1 December 1934, following completion of the Tanna Tunnel. In addition, the line was downgraded to a single track in 1943. It evolved into a tourist line when through services with private Odakyu Line started started in 1955. The line was electrified in 1968, and now JR Central and the Odakyu Railway run through express services using specially built rolling stock.
Photo: Main building of East Fuji Sengen Shrine (Higashi guchi hongu Fuji sengen jinja)
Photo: Series 211 running between Gotemba and Ashigara with Mt Fuji in background (JR Central)