“How do I get to Saiin?” Not a question I was expecting on a Saturday night when Saiin is currently on the opposite side of the world from me. The trip from the northern suburbs of Nara City to Saiin, a district of central Kyoto, will take about 80 minutes. Three trains are needed for this journey, Kintetsu from Nara to Kyoto, the Kurasuma line of the Kyoto Subway and the Umeda line of the Hankyu Railway.
I looked at the Hankyu website and was pleased to see that I could still read many of the place-names on the Japanese-only map. I re-lived the train rides in my mind, I rode them all in July. Although that seems like an age ago, I could picture the open air station of ShinOmiya, but especially the wood-paneled coaches with moss green seats of the Hankyu trains. I was thrilled that I could close my eyes in Toronto and make the journey.