Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Today we are riding a very unique sightseeing train of Kintetsu Railway which just recently started its operation to the ancient capital of Japan: Kyoto. For lunch we are getting some ramen which are quite off the standard stuff. Luckily, the ramen shop is a bit away from Kyoto Station so that we have the chance to ride another local train to get there. To get back to Osaka we take one of the JR Limited Express trains since they are the fastest but still special option other than the bullet train.
What is the Aoniyoshi Train
To get from Osaka to Kyoto we are going to ride the Kintetsu Aoniyoshi Limited Express Sigthseeing train. This train is brand new and just started it‘s operation in April 2022. This train connects Osaka with the former ancient capitals Nara and Kyoto. It operates six days a week, starts in the morning from Osaka Namba station to Nara and continues to Kyoto. During the day it operates between Kyoto and Nara couple of times to return to Osaka in the afternoon. It is a four-car train with two different types of seats. First one is twins seats where you can either face each other or both face to the window. Second is salon seats where you can sit in a group of four. A small bar and even a library is also available in the train. Needless to say, also toilette. In case you‘d like to use a twin seat alone you must book an additional child ticket.
Tickets for the train require a base fare ticket and a limited express surcharge ticket. Both prices depending on the actual route and distance you travel. Additionally a special car fare of 210 Yen is required independent from the distance.
The Kintetsu Railways is a very simple but perfect online booking system for the limited express train tickets. It is even available in English. Payment can be done by credit card.
Sales for their limited express tickets start one month prior to departure at 10:30 Japanese Time. Be aware: There are many train enthusiasts in Japan. So special trains sell may sell out fast.
Actually I booked this ticket just a few hours after sales started and seats were already quite limited.
Getting to the Aoniyoshi train at Namba
This time base of my trips is Osaka so that we are taking the Aoniyoshi in the morning from Osaka Namba at 9:22 to Nara arriving at 9:58 and continue directly to Kyoto arriving there at 10:50.
Since I have visited Nara and Kyoto before, today‘s trip is solely about the train, its ride and eating ramen.
I took a hotel in the heart of Osaka Namba in easy walking distance to the famous Dotonbori and to Namba Stations.
It’s not so easy to get familiar with Namba Station. In fact its not only one station. A couple of train companies have their stations there all connected by underground passages and shopping streets. Obviously there are also many entrances and exits to that underground labyrinth.
In case you are staying in a Hotel around Namba you can enter the Namba Walk and follow the sign towards Kintetsu station. In case you are staying somewhere else in Osaka you can take the Midosuji Line to get to Namba.
The Kintetsu station itself is really busy despite the fact it has only four platforms. As a German I’m always impressed how many trains in what high frequency the Japanese can operate on just a few platforms. And all of them are more or less on time.
You can find more details about the train itself on this following post.
The train ride itself is nice and provides some variety. Starting underground in Osaka it runs through the city as well as the suburbs. Further climbing uphill for some nice view of huge metropolitan area of Osaka before heading into country side. After a short rural area Nara is reached again in an underground station. After turning around the train turns into direction towards Kyoto which is reached after about 40 minutes.
Reaching Kyoto Station
Ramen at Menya Gokkei
As we reached Kyoto just a bit early for lunch we selected a place a bit away from Kyoto Station for lunch. This shop serves some unique awesomely creamy chicken based ramen.
And, we can take some other unique trains to get there.
From Kyoto Station we talk an about 10 minute walk to the Keihan Shichijō Station. From there we can take any of the trains for a short ride to Demachiyanagi Station. Here we change into the Eizan Line.
The Eizan Line looks like being from another century and is a great experience. It typically runs small vintage one-man cars and feels like a mix of train and tram. It runs close through the northern Kyoto neighbor hoods. We get of at Ichijōji Station and take a short walk to Gokkei Ramen.
Actually we had to wait in line a bit so it’s not only us who like the food their.
Check the post below for details about the shop and the food. Just to say here: A unique and tasty experience worth the trip.
Getting back by Keihan Limited Express
After lunch we take back the same Eizan train from Ichijōji to Demachiyanagi Station. Since it is summer and really hot in Kyoto we didn’t want to go on another walk back to Kyoto Station. So we decided to take an Keihan Limited Express from Demachiyanagi directly to Osaka Yodoyabashi Station. On Keihan Line the Limited Express doesn’t require an extra few. However, the have premium cars which require a surcharge which we chose today.
The train runs directly and quite frequent from Kyoto Demachiyanagi to Osaka Yodoyabashi in a bit over an hour.
What else to do in Kyoto
What else to do in Nara
What else to do in Osaka
Rounding up with another ramen for dinner
Recap and Prices
|ToDo Keihan, Eizan, JR