Set to go into service next year carrying passengers from downtown Kyoto to Buddhist mountain temples.
When people in Japan hop on a crowded commuter train to go to or from work, it’s not exactly a glamorous experience (though it is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life). But outside of such workaday train trips, riding the rails in Japan can still have a definite dynamically adventurous appeal, especially if you happen to be aboard one of the country’s trains with a highly-developed sense of style.
In the past, we’ve looked at trains with interiors boasting gorgeous hotel rooms, lovely lacquer, traditional foot baths, and even art galleries. But a newly unveiled design from Kyoto-based Eizan Railway is putting the focus on the outside, with what appears to be a giant lens on the front of the lead car.
Eizan Railway operates a pair of lines which both start at Demachi Yanagi Station, in the northeast corner of downtown Kyoto, before later splitting at Takaragaike Station. From there, one line continues on to Yase Hiezanguchi, and the other to Kurama, the stations located at the bases of the mountains Hiezan and Kuramayama, respectively. Both mountains are known for their important Buddhist temples.
▼ Some of Eizan’s more orthodox trains
A simplified map of the Eizan lines, with Demachi Yanagi at the bottom, Kurama at the top left, and Yase Hiezanguchi at the top right, shows that the two mountainous endpoints could be enclosed in an ellipse, which is where the unusual design for new train comes from.
The “lens train,” which has yet to be officially named, is scheduled to go into service in the spring of 2018. Once it does, it’s sure to have fans of both trains and interesting design in general snapping pictures like crazy, though you’ll have to position yourself carefully if you don’t want your own image to show up in that giant, reflective front end.