First Impressions of Japan

First impressions of Japan Rail: Osaka Airport (KIX) to Kyoto

The train

As we came to expect, the JR train was very clean and comfortable. It was also one of a very small number of Japanese trains that we found with luggage space.

Station announcements were made clearly in both in English and Japanese. Equally, there were display-boards that showed station and travel information. Again they were conveniently displayed in English and Japanese.

The train journey

Throughout the train journey from Osaka to Kyoto we could see an unbroken Japanese urban sprawl. Japanese accommodation looked very cramped, both in the sense that rooms appeared small and there was very little space between adjacent buildings. Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines seemed to be the only buildings that were not crammed together.

There was the occasional backdrop of beautiful forest covered mountains. Although I had studied Japan I was astounded by the amount of forestry. Later I found that dense woodlands cover almost all of the uninhabited mountainous areas of Japan.

When the train arrived in the Kyoto JR station exhaustion was setting in.

Arrival in Japan Kyoto Station