Kyotrain Garaku: Kyoto's new Japanese train   京とれいん 雅洛

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Kyotrain Garaku

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 Kyotrain Garaku train interior

Small miniatures of traditional Zen gardens are also present in each car. And for those who just can't wait to arrive, two cars will have window-facing seats, to allow travelers to best observe the emerging Kyoto scenery.

See also: A Zen temple tour of Kyoto

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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Will you need to book to ride the kyotrain? Can you take on luggage? Thank you for your help