Kintetsu Railway will launch a new sightseeing limited express train this month that will run between Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara – three cities that take equal pride in their history, culture, and cuisine. This new train is called the “Aoniyoshi”, which is an expression from classical poetry closely associated with the ancient city of Nara, and the train is decorated with colors and designs that celebrate that city’s past.
The Aoniyoshi is a refurbished Kintetsu 12200 series electric train with four cars. Its purple exterior is suggestive of Nara’s imperial past and the interior walls and carpeting are also decorated with gorgeous “Tenpyo” mandala-like patterns of birds and flowers that are also associated with Nara’s heyday as a capital city.
The train’s interior layout is completely new with a spacious seating plan of just 84 seats in total. These include two types of seats: twin seats for couples that are arranged in single rows, and salon seats that are designed for 3 to 4 passengers.
Car 2 has a sales counter serving sweets, snacks, craft beers and other drinks and Car 4 has a library space with books that passengers can freely read during the journey.
The Aoniyoshi will make six journeys each day. In the morning the train will run from Osaka Namba Station to Kyoto via Kintetsu Nara Station and later in the afternoon it will make the return journey from Kyoto to Osaka Namba Station via Kintetsu Nara Station. However, between these two longer journeys the train will also shuttle back and forth between Kyoto and Nara making two shorter return trips.
The Aoniyoshi will run 6 days a week with one day off (usually Thursday) and it will also run on holidays. All seats on the Aoniyoshi must be reserved in advance and the full fare between Osaka Namba and Kyoto is 1,960 yen. Reservations can be made at Kintetsu Railway stations, major travel agents, and via the Kintetsu Railway website. For full details of service times and fares please visit the official Aoniyoshi webpage (Japanese language only).
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of Kintetsu Railway. All rights reserved.