Japan has its own Pokémon train, and we desperately need to ride it

All aboard.

Pokemon With You

Here in the U.S., we have lots of cool places to satisfy our gamer needs, like retro-themed bar arcades and pop-up gaming events. However, in Japan, it’s a whole different ball game, as they have everything from devoted game cafes (including a spectacular one inspired by Kirby) to various themed stores. And then there’s the Pokémon With You train.

Originally shared by Nintendo Soup, this is a train that runs between Ichinoseki Station and Kesennuma Station, and looks to be the ride of a lifetime for anyone who has ever touched a Pokémon game. A new promo video, released by the national rail in Japan, shows just how much fun it can be.

JR東日本 のってたのしい列車 POKÉMON with YOU トレイン篇

東日本大震災で被災した東北のこどもたちに笑顔を届け、また全国のこどもたちに東北の旅を楽しんでほしいとの思いから運行している「POKÉMON with YOU トレイン」。 元気なピカチュウたちと一緒に、楽しいひとときをお過ごしください。 「POKÉMON with YOU トレイン」 https://www.jreast.co.jp/railway/joyful/pokemon.html 【撮影にご協力いただいた皆さま】 ●「気仙沼市観光サービスセンター」様 宮城県気仙沼市魚市場前7-13 気仙沼「海の市」2F ●「気仙沼駅前観光案内所」様 宮城県気仙沼市古町1丁目5-23 ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. ポケットモンスター・ポケモン・Pokémonは任天堂・クリーチャーズ・ゲームフリークの登録商標です。

The Pokémon With You train actually came about in 2012, as a way to help those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that happened in March 2011. The train was later updated in 2017 and is still up and running today.

It doesn’t continuously operate on a daily schedule, but when it does, it’s a real trip for Pokémon fans. Inside, it comes with a bunch of Pikachu artwork, as well as a decorative design that really takes advantage of both color and plush. 

Screengrab via Pokémon/National Rail of Japan

There are two rooms to choose from on the train. The first one is a Communication carriage, where parents can kick back and play Pokémon games if they wish. Meanwhile, the Playroom serves as a place for their kids to have fun. (Parents can enjoy that as well—it never hurts to be a kid again.)