Japan is no stranger to weird and wonderful product collaborations between companies. We’ve seen Mos burger x Mister Donut creations, a Hello Kitty invasion of The Very Hungry Caterpillar books and even Sailor Moon girls teeing up with sanitary pads.
So when the ten-year anniversary of the Tetsudou Musume (Railway Girls) anime rolled around this year, their new collaboration could have taken them anywhere. Thankfully, the girls have gone the more conventional route – by tying up with an actual train and riding together with you in 2-D form inside the carriages.
The specially wrapped train, which runs on Saturdays and holidays, took its first journey out on the Tobu Skytree Line on 17 January. The Tobu line x Tetsudou Musume collaboration means visitors to Tokyo Skytree can now enjoy a good dose of moe cuteness en route to their destination, provided they ride on carriages 3 or 4, where the girls are placed.
To celebrate, passengers can take part in one of Japan’s favourite pastimes – stamp collecting. Simply pick up a specially marked sheet and add ink stamps as you find them at different checkpoints. Collect them all and if you get in quick you’ll receive special commemorative prizes.
The fun extends to the outside of the train too!
So who are the Tetsudou Girls? They’re fictional characters who work on Japanese train lines, made popular through a series of manga books, a DS game and a cute figurine collection. Each girl represents a different area of Japan, giving them different uniforms and looks that train enthusiasts will love.
All the fun activities run through 29 March so get in quick if you’d like to participate. The girls are waiting!