A train featuring Doraemon, the robotic cat from a popular series of comics and cartoons, was unveiled on Thursday in Tokyo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Japanese cultural icon.
Seibu Railway Co. showed the eight-car "Doraemon-Go!" train, which is decorated with images inspired by the character and the secret gadgets it uses, to the press ahead of the train's first run on Thursday afternoon.
"We would like to give a dream to our passengers with the help of Doraemon," Kimio Kitamura, head of the company, said during a ceremony at a rail yard in Tokyo.
Doraemon, who travels from the 22nd century to help an elementary school boy, is one of Japan's best-loved cartoon characters.
His face is depicted on the front of the blue-and-white train as well as on each door.
Images of Doraemon's four-dimensional pocket that stores all of his secret gadgets are printed on the seats, while the iconic "anywhere door" that takes people to the places they wish to go, is illustrated on the carriages' connecting doors.
The train is scheduled to run on Seibu Railways' Shinjuku, Haijima and Tamako lines.
Zensho Ito, president of the production company Fujiko Pro Co., said the late Fujiko F. Fujio, one of the two creators of the original manga series in which Doraemon first appeared, was "a big fan" of trains.
"He would be all smiles if he had seen this," Ito said.