Day Out With Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway/Facebook

You can now ride a real Thomas the Tank Engine train in Japan

Hop aboard this incredibly accurate replica of the friendly blue train for a scenic ride through Shizuoka prefecture

By
Kaila Imada
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[Update, August 12] Due to heavy rainfall this season, the Day Out With Thomas train tour has implemented some changes to the event schedule. The round trip will now take guests from Shin-Kanaya Station to Ieyama Station (instead of the previous Senzu Station). Also, the Thomas Fair previously held at Senzu Station is now taking place at Shin-Kanaya Station. 

Day Out With Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway/Facebook

The remaining tickets for August can be purchased through Oigawa Railway's official website. Upcoming tickets for September and October dates are available via a lottery running from August 13 to 18. Last minute tickets may also be available for purchase after the lottery ends on a first come, first served basis.

***

[June 29] Young ‘uns and the young-at-heart: we’ve got good news! Shizuoka prefecture’s Day Out With Thomas train tour, which was postponed from its initial start date in May due to Covid-19 coronavirus, has finally started up on June 26. 

The Day Out With Thomas event will continue until October 19, giving Thomas the Tank Engine fans a chance to hop aboard this iconic locomotive designed to look like the main character from long-running children’s show ‘Thomas and Friends’. The excursion takes visitors on a train ride through the Oigawa main line from Shin-Kanaya Station to Senzu Station, with numerous activities to enjoy at both stations.

Guests aboard Thomas can take full advantage of the experience by purchasing original souvenirs from the snack cart as well as munching on Thomas-themed bento boxes, which are available at Shin-Kanaya Station (just make sure you purchase one before boarding). 

Day out with Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway/Facebook

The Day Out With Thomas event also includes appearances by Thomas’s other locomotive friends, Hiro and Percy, at the Thomas Fair, which takes place at Senzu Station. You can also tour Thomas’s Maintenance Factory at Shin-Kanaya Station, where you'll get a closer look at how these trains are maintained and cared for.

The event is run by Oigawa Railway Co Ltd, known for its steam locomotives and tourist trains in Shizuoka prefecture, including this Thomas-themed train, launched in 2014. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, extra safety precautions have been put in place, including fewer passengers per ride and temperature checks at the ticket gate. 

Tickets can be reserved online (in Japanese only) through a lottery system. However, many of the dates are already booked out, so you’ll have to enter the next lottery between June 30 and July 7 for upcoming trips in September and October. Last minute tickets may be available on a first come, first served basis, 20 days before the boarding date. To check availability, see the event website, or call Oigawa Railways on 054 7­45­ 4112.

A round-trip ticket for an adult goes for ¥6,600 (one-way ¥3,050) and children ¥3,060 (¥1,530). For more information on the tour, visit the official website.

Heading out? Read our guide on how to go out safely in Tokyo, or anywhere for that matter. 

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