Have you ever thought your morning commute could be improved by the pitter patter of tiny penguin feet?

The Kintetsu train line and Shima Marineland have teamed up every year since 2009 to bring us the Penguin Train; a train ride with an adorable twist. Real-life Humboldt penguins run freely through the train with handlers loosely guiding them along. The handlers also give an informative talk about the animals while the penguin walk takes place.

It’s a great opportunity to get up close with the creatures as this video uploaded to Instagram shows.

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Tickets for the tour are pricey (about $74 and upwards) but there is more in store than just the Penguin Train experience. A day at Shima Marineland is also on the itinerary, including special treats such as meeting ‘popular penguins’ and taking commemorative photos with them. You can also see the aquarium’s ‘back yard’ which is not usually open to the public.

The train runs from Toba in Mie Prefecture and tickets also include transport from Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto or Yokkaichi. The tours only take place once a month, on certain days which are announced each year. The dates are provided in this press release for all you Kansai-dwelling penguin lovers.

Thanks to places such as Cat Cafes, Fox Village, and a Rabbit island to name a few, Japan is increasingly considered a hotspot for animal lovers. All offer chances to get up close with cute animals, but the Penguin Train snatches the prize for most surprising setting. Turns out trains, like most things, are much more exciting when penguins are involved.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.