It is always a pleasure riding luxurious trains in Japan. Besides being free from clusters of people, these trains are amenity-rich and outfitted with hotel-quality sleeping compartments. This coming summer, the “Pokemon with You” Train will be back in service! Though not that luxurious, the train has been designed to give everyone an awesome and adorable ride worth remembering. To date, around 40,000 fans have already ridden on it and the number seems to be growing. The train’s maiden voyage will start on July 15th 2017 and it will be showcasing a newly renovated design.
The “Pokemon with You” Train started its debut in the year 2012, a year after the Tohoku (東北) earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The train was originally created in order to bring happiness to the children in the area. It was a restored KiHa 100 series train which was decorated with the concept of being in the woods in its interior.
More than 100 Pokemon designs could be found inside the train., which made little kids in the town very happy. There was a playroom car area furnished with fun Pokemon toys for kids such as Poke balls, picture blocks, the Drilbur Tunnel, and a friendly Pikachu and Vicinity tree. Curtains and ceilings also had Pokemon characters and other fun decorations. Seats were reserved in advance. Only people in Japan were able to purchase the tickets, particularly at the JR Ticket Office and JR East Travel Service Centers.
The Pokemon with You Train was redesigned in preparation for the coming summer season 2017. It has been decorated with a Pikachu-themed makeover so expect to see dozens of the mascot’s image both on the train’s interior and exterior! The box seats are adorned with Poke balls which makes the place fun and memorable.
There’s also a play area for kids in case they get fussy during the ride. The train is going to make trips down the Ofunato Line (大船渡線), a local rail line in Iwate Prefecture (岩手県) which is being operated by East Japan Railway Company. This area stretches from Iwate Prefecture’s Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅) up to Kesennuma Station (気仙沼駅) in Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県). The trip is still part of the “Pokemon with You” project which is designed to bring smiles to the highly devastated area of Tohoku (東北). These are the train schedules for this year.
- July 15th-17th, 22nd-23rd, 29th-31st
- August 1st-20th, 26th-27th
- September 2nd-3rd, 9th-10th, 16th-18th, 23rd-24th, 30th
Take note that the train will also follow a time schedule for its departure and arrival. It will leave Ichinoseki Station at 11:01am and will arrive at Kesennuma Station at 12:51pm. From Kesennuma Station, its return trip will be at 2:37pm while its arrival at Ichinoseki Station will be at 4:34pm.
If you’d like to experience an adorable way of commuting in the area of Tohoku, it is best to make an advance reservation. Tickets can be reserved up to one month in advance. So hurry and bring your family and friends along so they too can enjoy the Pokemon/Pikachu train!