The new Pokemon train ポケモンウィズユートレイン
Inside the new Pokémon train
The town of Kesennuma was heavily affected by the tsunami that ravaged the area
The Playroom car
Travel with Pikachu
The new Pokemon train will start running on July 15th in the Tohoku region. Like its predecessor, its mission is to help the children in disaster areas.
In 2012, JR East set up a Pokemon train to help the Tohoku region in northern Japan.
Supporting the Tohoku RegionThe first Pokemon train was commissioned by JR East in collaboration with Pokemon With You in December 2012 to help the area of Tohoku, a region hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Read: Visit Sendai
The aim was to bring a smile back to the faces of the children of these hard-hit areas with the introduction of a fun and entertaining train, as well as attract tourists back to the region. The success of this operation was immediate, and more than 40,000 people rode the train between its introduction and the beginning of 2017.
Pikachu, I choose you!JR East in association with Pokemon With You have therefore decided to completely renew the train to make it even better! So they have come up with a new, redesigned concept of the original Pokemon train: having fun with Pikachu, one of the best loved Pokemon characters.
Read also: The kotatsu train
The outside of the train is an eye-catching yellow color - it's hard to miss. There are Pikachu everywhere in and around the train. It's up to you to choose the one you like best!
Fun with PikachuThe inside of the train is also Pikachu themed: everything is yellow and brown! Adults can relax in a car with classic benches, while the younger ones can go into the Playroom car, where they can have fun and frolic to their heart's content.
Dedicated staff are on hand to entertain them and take pictures. The children will also find a mini driver's seat, so they can imagine themselves in the shoes of the train driver. A Pikachu sofa has even been installed, so you can sit next to your favorite hero!
The train routeThe journey begins at Ichinoseki, taking the Ofunato Line. The landscapes are very beautiful, between mountains and farming fields. The journey ends almost 2 hours later, at Kesennuma station.
To read: Matsushima Bay
This small port city saw the tragic disappearance of nearly a third of its population during the tsunami of 11th March 2011. Part of the city was completely destroyed by the gigantic wave, leaving nothing but desolate landscape. The stigma and fear caused by this tragedy has disappeared over the years, and reconstruction is progressing well now.
To help the city out please don't hesitate to visit - buy local products and taste the delicious seafood of the local fishermen!
A train for childrenThe Pokemon train isn't a tourist train, or a normal commuter train connecting Ichinoseki with Kesennuma. It's primarily created for children.
Tickets go on sale online, one month before the travel date, and it's necessary to book in advance. For the summer of 2017 all the journeys in July are already booked.
The new Pokemon train definitely looks like it'll be another success!
Train information for summer 2017: Saturdays and Sundays, from 15 July. From 1 to 20 August every day. Then again only on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of September.