Yaen

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Wooden Cable Cars

Wooden Cable Cars

Still found in certain remote regions of Japan, Yaen are human-powered, traditional Japanese, Edo-period cable cars. Primarily used to cross rivers and streams, Yaen were the main means of transportation to connect villages between deep valleys. While most mountains in Japan now offer electric powered rope-ways and cable cars, Yaen wooden cars use a simple system of connected ropes riders need to pull to cross. Yaen translates to Wild Monkey, a fitting name for a cable car that requires passengers to use their hands to pull them across. Although Yaen are designed to carry passengers across steep rivers and valleys, a yaen can typically only accommodate for one rider at a time. Travelers sit alone in the base of the yaen and manually pull the ropes to transport themselves.

Traditional Japanese Experience | Nara

Traditional Japanese Experience | Nara

If you want to experience crossing a river on a Yaen, Japan Deluxe Tours highly recommends guests use gloves to prevent blistering while pulling the ropes. Yaen are primarily used as tourist attractions rather than transportation, so riders can be assured that Yaen are constantly being maintained and are safe to use. It may be a bit daunting to ride at first, but the Yaen is another way to enjoy a traditional Japanese experience during your vacation. Most yaen rides meant for tourists don't involve the steepest of heights, and instead are a fun way to try living like the Japanese people of yesteryear.

Nara is home to a popular Yaen at the Totsukawa Onsen. Interested in trying this one-of-a-kind ride out during your Japan vacation? Ask your travel agent about setting up a private tour in Nara to try this experience out. Japan Deluxe Tours is more than happy to help arrange a private Kyoto tour so you can try your hand at the popular human-powered rope way ride from the Edo Period!

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