Source: JR East

Japanese Railway Gets Spark With New Pikachu Train

Character-themed trains are nothing new in Japan, but that doesn't mean old favorites can't get an upgrade. Introduced originally by Japan Rail East in 2012 to help raise spirits for regions devastated by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, the Pokemon with You Train is getting a Pikachu-themed makeover this summer to provide another jolt of fun for Pokemon fans in Eastern Japan.

While the train was previously decorated with a general Pokemon aesthetic, the new model will feature a Pikachu-specific theme and was designed under the concept of a Pikachu train that parents and children can enjoy riding together. To facilitate this, the train's refurbished interior contains "communication seats" that resemble sofas, and a play area with Poke-themed equipment for children to enjoy.

The train is scheduled to start running July 15th-July 17th, before taking on a limited schedule of August 1st-20th, 26-27th, and a final run of September 2nd-3rd, 9th-10th, 16th-18th, 23rd-24th, and 30th. It will depart from Ichinoseki Station in Iwate prefecture and arrive at Kesennuma Station in Miyagi prefecture, a route that covers many areas hit hard by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. It's JR East's hope that the sight of a rare but friendly train rolling into the station will excite children and help them spend time with their families enjoying themselves together. JR East has a reservation system in place on their website.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.