‘One Piece’-Themed ‘Sunny Train’ Sets Sail Again on Minami-Aso Railway in Kumamoto

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The “Sunny Train” departs from Tateno Station in Minami-Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Saturday.

KUMAMOTO — The “Sunny Train,” modeled after the pirate ship ridden by characters including Luffy, the protagonist of the popular manga “One Piece,” began operation on Saturday in Kumamoto Prefecture on the Minami-Aso Railway.

A large crowd gathered, with many waving flags, to see the train off at a launch ceremony held at Tateno Station in Minami-Aso.

The special train event was planned to commemorate the full operation of the railway from July 15, following the line’s recovery from the Kumamoto earthquake in 2016. The side of the train is wrapped with images of the Straw Hat Pirates, led by Luffy, while the bow section of the pirate ship Thousand Sunny is reproduced on the front.

The ceiling is decorated with scenes of the characters speaking words of thanks as a message to fans who supported the restoration and recovery efforts following the earthquake. Panels from the manga are also arranged on the seats.

At the ceremony, the train departed at 8:15 a.m. with Luffy’s anime voice resounding throughout the premises and about 50 local elementary school students on board.

Aki Sato, 40, originally from Minami-Aso and now living in Koshi in the prefecture, saw off the train and said, “I’ve been riding this train since I was a student, so I was deeply moved.”

The Sunny Train is planned to operate for approximately one year. The train will embark on three round trips per day between Tateno and Takamori stations every week from Thursday to Sunday and on holidays (daily from Aug. 10 to 15).