ODATE, Akita -- The iconic "green frog" train carriage that was parked near the Hachiko dog statue in front of Tokyo's Shibuya Station has been moved to a facility in this northern Japan city -- the birthplace of the famous Akita dog.
The train carriage was placed inside the grounds of "Akita Inu no Sato," which roughly translates to Akita dog village, a tourist attraction in front of JR Odate Station in Odate, Akita Prefecture. The city is the birthplace of the famously loyal Akita dog Hachiko, who waited in front of Shibuya Station for his master to return home even after his owner's death. A bronze statue of Hachiko can also be seen in Akita Inu no Sato.
The rail car, a former 5000-series train, is 11.22 meters long and weighs some 11 metric tons. It is known by its nickname "green frog" because of its color and rounded edges. The train carriage was handed over to Tokyo's Shibuya Ward Office in 2006 after its retirement, and used as a tourist information booth at Shibuya Station. The rail car needed to be relocated following the redevelopment of the area surrounding the station, and was gifted to the Odate Municipal Government.
The Odate government will make adjustments to the rail car's interior, exterior and surroundings, and it intends to open it to the public from as early as September.
(Japanese original by Hikoshi Tamura)