Since 2012, the Pokemon With You train has been making kids happy in Eastern Japan., as a collaboration between JR East and Pokémon that’s been bringing smiles to the faces of kids affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Now in 2017, it’s time for the train to get a makeover. The new designwill roll out July 15, and the inside is getting refurbished, too.
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 Poke Balls adorning the corner of the box seats, or “communication seats” as operator Japan Railways East Japan 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.
The Pokemon with You Train will be making trips up and down the Ofunato Line, which stretches from Iwate Prefecture’s Ichinoseki Station in the south to Kesennuma Station in Miyagi Prefecture in the north.
Over the years, Japan has seen various Pocket Monster trains, including a Pokemon-covered bullet train.