IMARI, Saga -- A train featuring a special plate with characters from the popular anime "Yowamushi Pedal" debuted in southwest Japan's Kyushu region.
The train runs on the Matsuura Railway connecting the Saga Prefecture town of Arita and the Nagasaki Prefecture city of Sasebo. It appeared at Imari Station on Aug. 10 to promote the Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train's Nagasaki route, slated to open on Sept. 23. The advertising campaign, run by the city of Takeo, Saga Prefecture -- one of the stops on the new shinkansen route -- will continue until March 31, 2023.
The anime "Yowamushi Pedal" follows the story of Sakamichi Onoda, who joins a high school cycling club and builds maturity through the ups and downs of competition. The plate, which is 63 centimeters across, features illustrations of the protagonist and his teammate Shunsuke Imaizumi. Takeo is also putting related posters up inside the train cars.
The five cities on the new bullet train line -- Nagasaki, Isahaya, Omura in Nagasaki Prefecture, and Saga Prefecture's Ureshino and Takeo -- have obtained the joint right to use the anime characters. Takeo planned this project to also promote the shinkansen in northern Saga Prefecture, far from the new route.
(Japanese original by Yoshiyuki Mineshita, Karatsu Local Bureau)