Sponsored by Ōigawa Railway
Take a Ride on Thomas the Tank Engine
Did you know that life-sized versions of Thomas the Tank Engine and James the Red Engine run in Japan? Known for Mount Fuji and its production of tea, Shizuoka is a local area in Japan full of nature. There, at Shizuoka’s Oigawa Railway, you can ride inside Thomas and his friends!
How did Thomas the Tank Engine Get So Popular in Japan?
In 2014 Thomas first began his service in Asia. Thomas’ friend James joined him in 2015. The two of them became a featured topic in the media in Japan and beyond for being so popular that they completely sold out every day. After their very successful run, people have been waiting for another opportunity to ride Thomas and James. Finally, the two come back in 2018 at Oigawa Railway from June 9th (Saturday) to October 14th (Sunday). Thomas and James will run on 72 of those days, servicing a total of 176 runs. Let Thomas take you for an amazing trip!
Enjoy Japan’s Natural Landscape
The Oigawa Railway is boasted as the best railway for viewing Shizuoka’s local fields of tea. Spread before you along the wayside of the train are views of tea plantations and the stunning natural scenery. The steam locomotives run in Japan all year round, and the railway has become popular between railway enthusiasts. The locomotives travel about 65 km along the Oi River, which flows from Japan’s Southern Alps giving you a breathtaking view.
*Note that Thomas travels 37.2 km from Shin-Kanaya Station to Senzu Station.
Thomas is Fun for the Whole Family!
Last year many families from Japan brought their children to ride Thomas. Many of them were full of excitement the entire trip.
Not to mention, in addition to Thomas and James, you can take pictures with Hiro and Percy!
Enjoy a Part of Japan’s Culture, the “ekiben”!
The Thomas Lunch Box is very popular with children! It consists of fried shrimp, hamburger steak, octopus shaped sausage, fried potatoes, and rolled sushi.
*Please note that the lunch box menu and its package may have been changed from the 2015 edition.
Adults can also enjoy cuisine from Japan made from local Shizuoka ingredients.
Oigawa Railway is about 2 hours from Tokyo and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Nagoya.
Coming from Tokyo, ride the JR Tokaido Shinkansen (the Hikari or Kodama trains) to Shizuoka. From there, change train lines to JR Tokaido and ride the train to Kanaya station.
Coming from Osaka or Kyoto, ride the JR Tokaido Shinkansen (Kodama train only) to Kakegawa. From there, change train lines to JR Tokaido and ride the train to Kanaya station.
Once in Kanaya, take the Oigawa Main Line for one stop to Shin-Kanaya. Thomas and other steam locomotives will be there waiting.
Thomas takes about 70 minutes to travel the 37.2 km from Shin-Kanaya Station to Senzu station.
*Note that the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used at Oigawa Railway.
Reservations to ride Thomas in 2018 will open soon.
The service will run from June 9th (Saturday) to October 14th (Sunday).
Get ready to ride Thomas the Tank Engine in Japan! It is still undecided as to when reservations will open, so keep up with the latest information from the Oigawa Railway homepage .
*VOYAPON will also be updated with as much of the latest information as possible.
One way between Shin-Kanaya to Senzu
Adult fare: 1,720Yen + extra charge for Thomas or James 1,280 Yen = 3,000 Yen
Child fare: 860 Yen + extra charge for Thomas or James 640 Yen = 1,500 Yen
Operating Times (all operating dates are common)
Thomas the Tank Engine
Departure from Shin-Kanaya at 10:38 (Arrival at Senzu at 11:54)
Departure from Senzu at 14:10 (Arrival at Shin-Kanaya at 15:27)
James the Red Engine
Departure from Shin-Kanaya at 10:00 (Arrival at Senzu at 11:13)
Departure from Senzu at 13:39 (Arrival at Shin-Kanaya at 14:53)
Under the circumstances that you’re unable to reserve a seat on Thomas, it’s still possible to catch a glimpse of him during his run. Plus, you can still meet him when he’s at the station or in the garage. If you’re ever visiting Japan, please come and see Thomas the Tank Engine in Shizuoka.