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Friday, September 20, 2013

Kyoto Transportation 110th Anniversary of Kyoto Buses

Raku Bus Kyoto京都市公営バス110周年

Kyoto historically has been quick to adapt to and introduce new technologies and ideas.

The stereotype of a city is frozen in time, wed to ancient monuments and customs, is absolutely false.

Today marks the 110th anniversary of service for Kyoto's city buses. Kyoto was the first city in Japan to have bus service. The first city buses rolled out on September 20, 1903.

Almost ten years earlier, Kyoto opened the nation's first trolley service - the Kyoto Shiden - in 1895.  The "chin chin" trains (the sound of the bell) were a beloved feature of the city. Most of the lines, however, were ripped up in 1978 in order to increase space for cars and buses.

One portion of the Keifuku Randen line runs along city streets for a stretch, but otherwise the old street cars are but a fading memory.

For transportation geeks, it is possible to ride one of Kyoto's old trolley cars. At Meiji Mura, outside of Nagoya, the trains are still carrying tourists on a short trip.

Meiji Mura

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