Japan’s trains are awesome not just because they are modern, fast and efficient. They’re also super cool! Need an example? How about this: The Pokemon With You “Pikachu” Train!
Need more? The GeGeGe no Kitaro “Kitaro Family Train” train in Yonago! There are even more anime decorated trains to ride spread all over Japan! It’s a reason to leave Tokyo and visit the countryside.
In this episode, John heads to Ichinoseki in Iwate Prefecture to ride the Pokemon With You “Pikachu” Train!
It’s on the Ofunato Line. This train is here for a reason. On March 11, 2011, Tohoku was hit with a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated the area. So much was wiped out including the Ofunato Line. A year later, it was rebuilt and to brighten kids spirits and attract attention tot he area, the Pokemon With You train was launched. On the train is a dedicated play area for kids, loads of decorations, character voices making announcements and stops along the route to collect stamps are sparsely populated station towns.
It’s truly an amazing experience! Moreover, it give visitors to the area a chance to tour Kesennuma, the terminus that was hard hit by the tsunami. I got a chance to walk around and see the rebuilding as well as have lunch and a kakigori to cool down the summer heat.
Note: it is NOT daily
The POKEMON WITH YOU Train runs about 8 to 10 times a month from Ichinoseki to Kesennuma. Please check the schedule and make seat reservations in advance:
Departs Ichinoseki at 11:01am / Arrive 12:52
Returns from Kesennuma to Ichinoseki at 3:12pm / Arrive 4:49pm
Sakai Line in Yonago:
The GeGeGe no Kitaro Anime Wrapped Train:
Another wrapped train featured is the Sakai Line in Yonago that features Japanese yokai! The train runs once an hour from Yonago Station.
About the train: (Japanese Only)
Music: Semi Coopoerative Donkey by Teknoaxe
Clowning Around by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
This show has been created and produced by John Daub ジョン・ドーブ. He’s been living and working in Japan for over 18 years and regularly reports on TV for Japan’s International Channel.