Kyotrain Garaku: Kyoto's new Japanese train 京とれいん 雅洛
Inside the Kyotrain Garaku
A Hankyu line train
Japan by train
This March, Hankyu Railway - a railway company operating in and around Osaka - will start operating its new "Kyotrain Garaku" train. With an interior decorated in a typically Japanese traditional style, the train will transport travelers between Umeda and Kyoto. This new attraction will surely delight all lovers of traditional Japan design.
Kyoto on wheels
Rail connections between Osaka and its traditional Kansai friend Kyoto have been around for a long time. The novelty of this particular line lies in the interior decoration of the carriages, which are designed to give an impression of the imperial capital to travelers heading to (or from) Kyoto. Dark brown woodwork blends with the tatami-shaped panels, as partitions that divide the seats echo traditional shoji sliding doors, making you almost feel as if you're under the roof of a traditional machiya.
The four seasons of Kyoto
Each train in the new line will consist of six cars, four of which will each represent the flora of a particular season. So, carriage 1 celebrates fall and the vibrant maple leaves seen at this time of year, carriage 2 will be winter and bamboo (very popular during New Year in Japan) themed, while carriage 3 will obviously be adorned with cherry blossoms, and summer in carriage 4 is symbolized by hollyhock and geranium flowers.
The other two carriages will be dedicated to the 'micro-seasons' of early spring (with its plum blossoms) and early fall (with susuki grass), the two other most evocative seasons in Japanese aesthetics.
The line will operate between Osaka's Umeda Station and Kyoto's Kawaramachi Station, with four stops in between and a full ride taking 45 minutes. Although not covered by the JR Pass, the price of the ticket will be the same as for other trains between the two cities, just 400 yen ($3.70 USD).
Related : Taking the train in Japan
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