Shikoku's Anpanman Torokko Green Car

 Last year, while heading off to some corner of Shikoku or another, I happened upon one of the Anpanman train cars. Apparently, there are three, traveling around Kagawa, Kochi, and Ehime.
 The outside of the train car is well-decorated with Anpanman characters, including special windows. The regular train windows are much larger than normal carriages, allowing a better view out for tourists - especially the little preschool ones the Anpanman TV show is geared toward. Not to mention they are actually open to the outside, which necessitates the safety bars you see in my photos. There are also shadowbox-style windows inside and outside the train with little Anpanman scenes.
 Apparently, the Anpanman train car above only seats twenty, with some seats in groups of four and others only in pairs. Again, the insides are custom with Anpanman images along the upper wall, the picture windows, and wooden seats complete with decorative Anpanman character coat knobs. The picture below shows some of the play "room" area for the little ones.
It appears that there is an indoor train car for use in Kagawa as well (no open windows), with drop down tray tables and nice seats. I didn't see this one - it might be used on one of the other routes, or just used in bad weather. I should note that the Kochi and Ehime train cars all appear to be "indoor" only and they do run to Okayama.

In addition to train rides, you can get special Anpanman breads and bentos (lunch boxes) along with plenty of exclusive merchandise. The train cars run various routes - the one that travels around Kagawa departs from Takamatsu in the morning before running two round trips between Tokushima and Awa Ikeda.

Trains run July through September, though not necessarily daily. JR Shikoku has a special Anpanman Train website, but it is all in Japanese and uses images for all of the text so nothing is translatable through Google. Seat reservations are available a month in advance and if you want to ride in the car above, I suggest doing it as soon as possible to avoid sellouts. As far as fares are concerned, the car you see above is considered a "Green" car and appropriate upcharges are applied. Advanced reservations are probably not required (they are available) for the regular Anpanman trains that run from Okayama to Kochi and Ehime - that is, unless you're traveling during holiday season.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That train is sweet! Love the wooden chairs. That's definitely the first time I've seen that.