Regular readers will probably know that Kochi has a variety of colorful, whimsical trains, where it’s as much about the journey as the destination. Last month, we introduced you to the Kappa Uyo-uyo Kaiyodo Hobby Train, which was designed around the theme of a trip with kappa—Japan’s mischievous water sprites. This time, let’s get better acquainted with its equally adorable “brother”, the Tetsudo Hobby Train
First off, does the design remind you of anything?
Take a bow if you answered “the shinkansen (bullet train)”! The Tetsudo Hobby Train was inspired by the 0 series, which were the original generation of Japan’s iconic bullet train, the world's first high-speed railway network. It debuted on October 1, 1964, in time for the very successful first Tokyo Olympics. Train buffs might be interested to know that the pioneering 0 series was in use in some parts of the shinkansen network all the way until 2008!
The original shinkansen route connected Tokyo with Osaka. Over the decades, it has expanded up to the north, as far as Hokkaido, and all the way down south to Kyushu. The bullet train hasn’t reached Shikoku yet (although who knows what the future holds, given Japan’s amazing railway technology)! Kochi can, however, proudly lay claim to having the Tetsudo Hobby Train—the little train with grand dreams of growing up to be a shinkansen!
Railway fans, in particular, will be in seventh heaven on this train! Inside there’s a showcase displaying different models throughout the super fast train’s history, along with plenty of other interesting train-related decor. If your journey coincides with the cherry blossom season, you might also be lucky enough to see the trees blooming along the way too!