JAPAN is no stranger to dressing up their Shinkansen to add an extra dash of cute for bullet train travelers.
In March 2018, Japanese rail operator Japan Railways (JR) West announced it would be working with Sanrio on eight pink-coated bullet trains that connect the western cities of Osaka and Fukuoka. The route includes trains calling from Shin-Osaka station all the way to Hakata on a daily basis.
And now, JR has announced that it will be decking out its bullet trains with another super popular character.
This month, the very first Disney Shinkansen will go into operation as part of its Go! Waku Waku Trip campaign. The highlight of the campaign is none other than Disney’s pride and joy, Mickey Mouse.
The Mickey Mouse Shinkansen promises a waku waku (fun and exciting) journey for passengers as each of the bullet train’s six cars will be decorated with illustrations of the iconic Disney mascot enjoying a summertime trip.
“As part of Mickey’s 90th-anniversary celebrations, Disney and JR have teamed up to create a specially decorated six carriage Shinkansen train which will run on the Island of Kyushu between May and November (although the end date may change),” according to the JR Rail Pass blog.
The outside of the train will be depicted with a colorful mural of Mickey Mouse excitedly heading out to start his vacation on Kyushu. He is shown fully prepared with a stylish straw hat – similar to those worn by local schoolchildren – to protect him from the summer sun.
On the inside, a revamped interior will feature imagery of Mickey Mouse’s ears completed with themed seat covers. There will also be localized touches such as a Japanese-style watermelon and a traditional bathing bowl and washcloth to be used in an onsen hot spring, and a local map.
Of course, the Mickey Mouse Shinkansen travelers will be able to purchase exclusive goodies onboard the bullet train and in stations the service calls at. This includes limited edition merchandise such as pouches, notebooks, and pins with the Mickey Mouse Shinkansen artwork.
Unfortunately, the Mickey Mouse Shinkansen will not be making stops at Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea. Instead, it will run along the Kagoshima route which connects Hakata Station (in Fukuoka) with Kagoshima Chuo Station.
The bullet train will officially go into service on May 17 and will run for an indefinite period. For now, only the calendar for May has been announced, but the information will be updated as JR Kyushu publishes it.