Take a 360-Degree Tour of Japan's Legendary Pikachu Train

pikachu-train
(Photo: Google Maps)

Can't get all the way over to Japan to experience your favorite nerdy tourist attractions? Worry not: virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular in all formats, and this all-new look inside of Japan's famous Pikachu train is just one of the latest examples. Inspired by the (mostly) adorable demeanor and color scheme of the Pokemon franchise's most popular mascot, the train spans two cars, and includes play areas for the tiniest of trainers.

The new 360 degree tour was just added to Google Maps and reported on the official Pokemon With You website, along with seasonal schedules for the train, should any curious traveler want to hop on.

The Pokemon With You train has been running since 2012, but its new makeover, which kicked off this summer, came not only with cute designs, but a purpose as well. The train runs from the Iwate Prefecture’s Ichinoseki Station to Kesennuma Station in Miyagi Prefecture, a region that was heavily damaged by tsunamis and earthquakes in 2011. The train was originally created in 2012 for the purpose of brightening up the are and "bringing smiles" to community members who were still recovering from the devastation of the disasters.

The train's two cars provide box seats with adorable graphics of Pikachu running along the lower walls of the car. Both are carpeted to look like Pikachu's fur, with Pokeballs on the end of each seat.

The second car functions as a play room for families (which is the audience that the train service is primarily aimed at) so that younger children can keep occupied during the trip. It takes about two hours from one end to the other, and only runs for a morning shift and an evening shift, so anyone looking to book a trip on the train might want to plan ahead for this and other Pokemon events using the website.