It’s easy to forget that Osaka, one of the largest, most modern cities in Japan, is geographically very close to Kyoto, the country’s cultural capital. As a matter of fact, many travelers looking to explore the temples and shrines of Kyoto actually chose to book a hotel in Osaka, which has a wider (and cheaper) selection of lodgings and nightlife. After all, even if you wake up in Osaka, you can be in Kyoto after just about a half hour on the train. But Hankyu Railway wants travelers to feel like they’re in Kyoto from the second they step aboard the train, and so it’s created the Kyotrain Garaku. Rather than the spartan, utilitarian interior of ordinary commuter trains, the inside of the Kyotrain Garaku resembles a traditional ryokan inn or Kyoto machiya townhouse. The traditional contrasting color scheme of deep brown wood and light tan tatami reed panels creates an atmosphere of classic Japanese hospitality, as does such elegant touches as miniature gardens. ▼ Circular windows provide a link with the viewing portals incorporated into the architecture of temples and samurai villas. Kyoto is a city that takes on a variety of special beauties throughout the year, and e...