Trains have always represented a way of the past in my mind. Before I turned 10 I would fly across the country, ditching any developing fear of flying behind. It seemed if you had to reach a city a couple states away, flying was the mode of travel. But I pray Japan is showing a possibility of the future with this new Pikachu-themed train that seems like a childish, colorful theme park on wheels. Pokémon With You is a disaster relief project that began following a devastating earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. The company took over East Japan Railway Company in winter 2012 with a Pokémon sightseeing train. The ride featured copious details reminiscent of the popular anime series and was reportedly a big hit.
Now the Pokemon With You train is getting a makeover. Instead of showing off the whole Pokemon series, the train will be all about Pikachu front to back.
The new exterior is covered with dozens of images of the franchise mascot, and the front corners of the lead car even sport rosy cheeks.
The interior has been similarly pika-fied; a particularly nice touch is the variety of Poké Balls adorning the corner of the box seats, or “communication seats” as operator East Japan Railway Company calls them, in keeping with its hope that the new train will help create fun travel memories for Pokémon-loving families. There’s also a special play area for kids who get antsy during the ride.
Well that sounds worth it. The maiden voyage of the Pikachu Train is July 15 and tickets are already on sale here.