8 fantastic funiculars from across the globe

From Hong Kong to Haifa, hitch a ride on one of the world’s most remarkable incline railways.

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The Kurama Cable funicular car in Japan. The Kurama Cable funicular car in Japan. (Photo: Wikimedia)

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Kurama Cable Car - Kurama, Japan

This funicular, officially known as Kurama-yama Kōsaku Tetsudō (Mount Kurama Cable Railway), slugs up the mountain upon which the Buddhist temple of Kurama-dera stands. Having originally opened in the late 1950s, the funicular makes light work of the ascent, traversing in just a couple of minutes a route that typically takes about 30 minutes to walk. It runs for a length of only several hundred feet, making it one of, if not the, smallest railways in Japan. The views of the forested slopes and valleys are particularly pretty in fall when gold, red and orange hues take over the terrain.

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