The all-new Kyotrain, maybe Japan’s most Japanese train ever, will take you to Kyoto this spring

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...

Toyota and Subaru partner to make a couple of all-electric SUVs together

Toyota and Subaru, which is partly owned by the latter, have announced that they are partnering to develop a new electric platform in order to launch a couple of all-electric SUVs under each brand. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The two Japanese automakers have been increasingly collaborating over the past decade, including on some hybrid vehicle projects. Both companies are also viewed as laggers in the all-electric space since neither have a fully-electronic option available to date. “To respond with a sense of speed to the diversifying needs of these markets and to multiple challenges, both Subaru and Toyota believe that it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries together with various types of other entities that share their aspirations. As a first step in this direction, while accelerating productization by bringing together technologies that represent each company’s strengths and cooperating where possible, the two companies will jointly develop a BEV-dedicated platform. The platform will be developed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, including C-segme...