More Japanese Character Trains

Mooming and Doraemon

themed Trains

moomin train - CHIBA

Although Moomin is a children’s series created in Scandanavia, visiting Japan, one might think that it originated in Japan. Widely beloved by Japanese young and old, a major influence in the popularity of Scandivanian culture in Japan is definitely Moomin. So, naturally, there’s a character train somewhere out there! Runs on a small portion of the Isumi Railway, which goes through rural Chiba Prefecture. Extra train trivia: Be sure not to confuse it with the other Japanese Moomin train, a vintage train from 1936 that ran all the way until 2008, when there were no parts left to repair it. It got its name from the shape of the front car, which many said looked like Moomin’s face!

doraemon train - hOKUrIKU

Doraemon is another major cartoon character in Japan. This cute little blue, vageuly cat-shaped robot has been around since the 70s! There is a small Doraemon train in Takaoka city, right between Toyama and Kanazawa in the Hokuriku area. Started in 2012, this street car runs through the city. The artist that created Doraemon was born in Takaoka.

panda train

Although not an anime character per say, there’s one special train in the Kansai area known as the panda train. From Osaka, this train runs through Wakayama, a prefecture known for its beaches, hot springs, and spiritual mountains. You can go to Shirahama and even Shingu on this train, which features four special “panda seats”-- although rumor has it these panda heads peaking out over the seats can sometimes feel a little unsettling.
This train is accessible with a Japan Rail Pass.

chunibyo train

Moomin and Doraemon are enduring characters more than 40 years old, but newer, modern anime get popular enough to inspire themed-trains as well! A recent widely-watched anime that got its own train is Chuni-byo. The Keihan line train in the Kansai area is running this special train only through the end of March 2015.

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