How to get on the Kyo-train GARAKU, and the remarkable interior design

KYOTO

Sightseeing

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Hankyu Railway’s sightseeing limited express, Kyo-train GARAKU, debuted in 2019.
Hankyu trains are traditionally known for their maroon car bodies, golden olive colored seats, and wood grain walls, but the Kyo-train GARAKU is a special sightseeing express designed in the image of the nature and traditional architecture of Kyoto, and the design of the car body and the interior of the train is very different from the usual trains.

Where can I board the Kyo-train GARAKU?

The following six stations are available for boarding the Kyo-train GARAKU.

Osaka-umeda Station, Juso Station, Awaji Station, Katsura Station, Karasuma Station, and Kyoto-kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line.
If possible, take the train from Hankyu Osaka Umeda Station or Kyoto Kawaramachi Station, and enjoy the 45-minute journey of the Kyo-train GARAKU.

When does the Kyo-train GARAKU operate?

It runs only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Special operating days may be set up during tourist seasons.
Please click here for the timetable.

How much does it cost to ride the Kyo-train GARAKU?

Only the regular fare is required.
No express fee will be charged.

What are the features of Kyo-train GARAKU?

Each car features a different design.
Each of the cars, from No. 1 to No. 6, has a different theme, with a calm design based on flowers, birds, and traditional patterns.
I’ll show you one car at a time from here!

Car 1: A Journey to Kyoto Starting in Autumn

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This is a seat with a design of “maple in flowing water,” a typical pattern of autumn leaves. This is an amazing design, with tatami mats affixed to the backrest and even to the seat.

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The single-seater seat also has a high backrest so that you don’t have to worry about the people behind you. The wrap-around design of the armrests is made of wood, giving it a warm atmosphere.

Car 2: A car representing the dignified winter of Kyoto

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The aisle area is wide and spacious. The side-by-side seats are arranged along the walls, and it’s spectacular to see all the way to the back.

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This is a dry landscape garden that was very popular when it first debuted. In Japan, there are many sightseeing trains with various designs, but this is not one of them. The fact that there is a garden inside the train is amazing!

Car 3: Carrying the gorgeous spring air

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Car 3’s theme is spring. The interior of the car has a soft atmosphere with a cherry blossom pattern and pink and pale beige colors.

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Car 3 has seats facing the windows. I can imagine how wonderful it would be to ride in this car and pass through the rows of cherry blossom trees.

Car 4: Represents Kyoto's Mid-Summer with Aoi

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Car 4, with its summer theme, has cloisonne-printed seats and checkered walls, making it the most austere and chic of the six cars.

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Awnings are made of sudare (bamboo screens), and the upper part is covered with yukimi-shoji (sliding doors), giving it the atmosphere of a traditional Kyoto townhouse. It is recommended that you sit in a spacious single-seater seat and enjoy your trip alone.

Car 5: The theme is Kyoto in a refreshing early autumn

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Car 5 has a tsuboniwa garden with tsukubai and garden stones, themed in early autumn before the autumn season deepens.

Car 6: An elegant vehicle to relax in early spring

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The interior of the train has a glittering atmosphere with a multi-colored checkerboard pattern using bright colors. Congratulatory motifs such as cranes and pine trees are painted around the circular windows.

A special space to relax and enjoy the luxury of sightseeing in Kyoto.

The Kyo-train GARAKU has an impressive interior passage. Unlike ordinary Hankyu trains, the dark wood-grained aisles are wide and spacious.
It’s like a well-kept hallway in a well-established Japanese inn.
The leathers and lighting are also designed in a modern Japanese style to blend in with the scenery inside the train.

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The sightseeing limited express “Kyo-train GARAKU” was designed with the idea of “making people enjoy the time they spend traveling to Kyoto.
I hope you enjoy the ride on the Kyo-train GARAKU, both on the way there and back.

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