Anpanman Train アンパンマン列車
The JR Anpanman train is a contemporary tribute to Takashi Yanase (1919-2013) the Kochi-born creator of the Anpanman children's manga and anime series and his various characters: Anpanman (with his red bean-paste head), his perennial rival Baikinman ("Bacteria Man"), Anpanman's ally Jam Ojisan and his many friends including Currypanman, Shokupanman, Creampanda, Melonpanna et al.
The Anpanman train is painted in a livery featuring the various Anpanman characters and the seats and headrests also feature an Anpanman theme.
Another Anpanman livery trains run on the Dosan Line from Okayama to Kubokawa via Kochi and then along the Tosa Kuroshio Railway Nakamura Line to Nakamura in Shimanto. This route is one of the most picturesque in Japan and passes through the Iya Valley and Oboke Gorge areas.
Each line has its own livery, the Yosan Line trains have a white background, Dosan Line trains are brightly painted in more vivid colors. The designs have also changed and been renewed since the service began in 2000. In the carriages themselves Anpanman characters can be found on the seats, headrests, ceilings and even the curtains.
The special Anpanman Torokko trains run only at weekends, public holidays and over vacation periods such as Golden Week.
These trains have wooden benches and large viewing windows with Anpanman-themed music and announcements and are very popular with young children and their parents.
The YuYu Anpanman Car (ゆうゆうアンパンマンカー) is a special set of two reserved carriages with Anpanman characters on the walls. The YuYu Anpanman carriages are on Takamatsu to Tokushima trains and onwards from Tokushima to Awa-Ikeda.
Shikoku is as proud of the creator of the Anpanman manga and anime series, Takashi Yanase as it is of another local hero, Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867).
Both men were born in Kochi. Images and statues of Ryoma and Anpanman can be found throughout Kochi Prefecture and a number of museums are dedicated to them both. Fans of Anpanman can visit the Anpanman Museum near Tosa-Yamada, outside Kochi city, and see a number of pavement statues of Anpanman and friends on the walk from Kochi Station to Harimayabashi.