KUMAMOTO -- Hisatsu Orange Railway Co. based in the city of Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, will sell commemorative train tickets paired with a photograph of a popular local feline to celebrate "Cat Day" on Feb. 22.
Feb. 22 is informally known as "Cat Day" in Japan as one pronunciation of the number 2 -- ni -- is similar to Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat's meow -- nyan.
The special tickets, for rides on the 22.2-kilometer stretch from Higo-Tanoura Station in the prefectural town of Ashikita to Shin-Minamata Station in the prefectural city of Minamata will be sold on Feb. 22, 2022.
The cat in the photograph is beloved by residents near the Hisatsu Orange Railway Line's Izumi Station in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, and the portrait was taken by a railway worker. The commemorative tickets will be stamped with a cat-shaped date stamp made from an eraser by an employee at Yatsushiro Station in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture.
The tickets will be sold on the online shopping site "Orange Railway Yahoo Shop" from 2:22 a.m. as well as at Yatsushiro Station from 6:30 a.m. and Izumi Station from 9:05 a.m. A total of 222 special tickets will be sold -- 55 via the online shop, 111 at Yatsushiro Station, and 56 at Izumi Station. A ticket costs 640 yen (about $6), plus shipping for those who purchase from the online shop. For inquiries, please contact Hisatsu Orange Railway at 0996-63-6860 (in Japanese).
(Japanese original by Takehiro Higuchi, Kumamoto Bureau)