Whai is quite unique to the visiting practice of this temple is that there is a funicular railroad that is 200m long. The cable roalroad connects the Mountain Gate station and Tahoto(two-storied pagoda) station on the mountain side which is as steep as 27 degree.
People who visit the temple use this cable car service and the car is called “Ushiwaka-go”. This name if from a historical hero. The temple is said to have been established in 770 and is on the top of the Mount Kurama which is 584m high and located about 12km north of the center of Kyoto City. In 12th century a boy called Ushiwakamaru who was a son of a powerful warrior who had lost and killed in a civil war and he was forced to live there to become a Buddhist monk by his father’s enemy. Ushiwakamaru, however, trained so hard to become a warrior to make an avenge for his father. There is a legend that he was so dedicated to efforts to be a strong warrior, natural deities who lived in the mountain helped him trained him to become really strong. Later on, Ushiwakamaru changed his name and became Yoshitsune Minamoto, who was known as a great hero to lead troops to succeeded in completing his father’s avenge. He was also a brother of Yoritomo Minamoto, who established the Kamakura Shogunate, the first warrior- managing government of Japan in 1192. Yoshistune was finally kiiled by Yoritomo and still is popular as a tragic hero. The funicular car’s name is from Yoshitsune’s childhood name of Ushiwakamaru.