Travel to Kyoto on the Kyotrain: A Japanese train with interiors like a traditional Kyoto house -- May 21
ith tatami mats, noren curtains and a zen garden, this is one of the most stunning and affordable ways to travel in Japan.

Kyoto is well known for being a city of historic beauty, with an impressive number of ancient shrines and temples, pristine Japanese gardens, and rows of beautifully preserved traditional townhouses known as machiya. It's these machiya, in fact, that give the streets of downtown Kyoto its unique charm, and while it can be a dream for many to step inside one, there's now a novel way to experience their beauty firsthand, even before arriving in the old capital.

All it takes is a ticket to ride the Kyotrain Garaku, a new train that takes you from Osaka to Kyoto on the Hankyu Kyoto Line in less than 45 minutes. Although you might wish the ride was longer, given that the train looks like this.

The beautiful wrap on the outside of the train makes it look like all the carriages are covered in traditional lacquer, with golden embellishments giving it a sense of refined elegance, which was the design brief Hankyu Railways was aiming for.

This elegance continues inside the train, where each carriage comes with its own seasonal theme to highlight the changing scenery of Kyoto throughout the year. Car 1 features maple-leaf motifs, to represent autumn, while Car 2 is decorated in bamboo motifs, as a nod to winter.

News source:
Sep 17
It's been a week since Typhoon Faxai hit Chiba prefecture near Tokyo. Recovery work has been slowed by another bout of heavy rain. (NHK)
Sep 16
A Japanese government survey shows the number of people aged 65 or older, and their proportion to the overall population, have both marked record highs. (NHK)
Sep 16
Life for many people in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, has been worsening since a typhoon caused massive power outages there a week ago. (NHK)
Sep 16
In Major League Baseball, former Seattle Mariner player Ichiro Suzuki has made his first public farewell since his retirement at the team's home stadium. The Japanese baseball superstar expressed his gratitude to his fans in English. (NHK)
Sep 15
A survey shows that Japan's public spending on education as a percentage of GDP was the lowest among OECD countries. (NHK)
Sep 15
Efforts to restore electricity to parts of Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo that were left in the dark this week after a powerful typhoon continue. But for many people, it could be two weeks or more before power is fully restored. About 140,000 households are still without electricity. (NHK)
Sep 15
Two octopuses predicted Friday that Japan will not advance to the knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup, which opens next week. (Japan Times)
Sep 15
Police in Japan have arrested a 40-year-old man suspected of firing an air gun in an apparent road rage incident earlier this month. (NHK)
Sep 15
Almost 70 percent of married women in Japan believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized in the country, a government survey of around 6,000 married women showed Friday. (Kyodo)
Sep 14
Hundreds of thousands of homes in Chiba Prefecture are still without electricity after Typhoon Faxai ripped through the greater Tokyo area on Monday. (NHK)