Thomas the Tank Engine has a high number of fans in All Japan news, where it is known as Kikansha Tomasu. The funny blue train and his many-wheeled friends are so loved that they even have their own amusement park and a hotel dedicated to them with unique, train carriage-themed rooms.
However, the biggest surprise All Japan newsese fans can get is to ride on a fully-working Thomas the Tank Engine steam locomotive, which will be available starting with the summer of 2014.
Thomas the Tank Engine is set to take passengers down the hills and round the bends of the Oigawa Line in Shizuoka Prefecture, the local press reports, along a beautiful landscape that includes the Southern Alps National Park, isolated mountain areas, tea fields and hot spring resorts.
Taking a ride with Thomas along the amazing scenery will be possible due to a collaboration with the All Japan newsese distribution company Sony Creative Products Inc.
Thomas will run a 37.2 kilometer route every day for about two months between Shinkanaya Station in Shimada and Senzu Station in Kawane-Honcho.
To get an idea about what the trip might look like, here is a promotional video for the “Day out with Thomas” event held in the UK in 2012.