Day Out With Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway

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

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
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Young ‘uns and the young-at-heart: we’ve got good news! Shizuoka prefecture’s Day Out With Thomas train tour is returning this year with rides running over the Golden Week holidays.

This year, tours will run from April 29 through to September 25, 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.

Day out with Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway

Guests aboard Thomas can take full advantage of the experience by purchasing exclusive 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

The Day Out With Thomas event also includes appearances by Thomas’s other locomotive friends including Hiro, Percy, James and Rusty at the Thomas Fair, which takes place at Senzu Station. Bertie the bus and Bulgy the large double-decker bus will also make appearances and you can arrange to have a ride on these two vehicles.

Day out with Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway

At Shin-Kanaya Station, you can tour Thomas’s Maintenance Factory, where you'll get a closer look at how these trains are cared for. Flynn, the bright red fire engine, will also be parked at Shin-Kanaya Station for you to visit during the tour.

Day Out With Thomas
Photo: Oigawa Railway

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.

Tickets are available online (in Japanese only) through a lottery system. While the current lottery has closed, last minute sales are carried out just before boarding dates if vacant seats are open. You can check availability through the Lawson ticketing website.

A round-trip ticket for an adult goes for ¥7,300 (one-way ¥3,400) while children cost ¥3,420 (¥1,710). For more information on the tour, visit the event website.

This article was originally published on August 12 2020 and updated on April 7 2022. 

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