Monorails of Japan
The Inuyama Monorail was the first multi-station Alweg monorail in Japan. The Japanese Hitachi Company had been impressed with the Seattle World's Fair Alweg installation and purchased the technology that same year. A little known fact of monorail history is that the Alweg Company sold old blueprints to the Japanese so they wouldn't have the latest improvements made to the system. Even so, Hitachi would go on to install more Alweg-based transit monorails than anyone in the world to this date. In a twist of fate, in March of 1998 Hitachi sent five sales representatives to Seattle after voters decided to extend their short monorail to over 40 miles (see Seattle)! The Inuyama Monorail links the central railway station with a temple station and a popular tourist destination, Japan Monkey Park. The single line includes steep gradients up to 9.7 percent and at one point runs at grade level through a man-made canyon. Two three-car trains can be linked during the peak visitor Summer season. The Meitetsu Company reportedly closed the system in December of 2008 due to low ridership.
/ Back to Japan Index Page