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Introducing SHINOBI-TRAIN, a Limited-Time Event Train on the Jr Kusatsu Line

What do you think of when it comes to Japan's most popular content overseas?
Anime? Godzilla? Geisha? Mt. Fuji? Japan has a lot of content popular overseas.
But aren't you forgetting something important?
NINJAS! Overseas, the ninja is said to have been incorporated into the training of the military as well.

In this article, we'll introduce the "SHINOBI-TRAIN," a limited-time "wrapping train" operated by the JR Kusatsu Line, in the video "JR Kusatsu Line PR video [SHINOBI-TRAIN]" (JR草津線PR動画【SHINOBI-TRAIN編】), released by the Kusatsu City Office of Shiga Prefecture.

JR Kusatsu's SHINOBI-TRAIN

Image of the SHINOBI-TRAIN
Photo:SHINOBI-TRAIN

The JR Kusatsu Line, on which SHINOBI-TRAIN runs, runs from Tsuge Station in Iga City, Mie Prefecture, to Kusatsu Station, Shiga Prefecture.
This area originated from what used to be called the Ninja Town, the birthplace of Iga Ninja and Kouka Ninja, resulting in the birth of the uniquely designed ninja train shown in the video.
You can see the attractive exterior of SHINOBI-TRAIN at 0:10 in the video.

The SHINOBI-TRAIN uses the vehicle that has been used since the Kosei Line began operations, and the Shinobi logo on the lead car is designed with a shuriken, the symbol of ninjas.
As you can see at 0:26 in the video, ninjas and Sengoku warlords welcome guests inside the SHINOBI-TRAIN car.

JR Kusatsu Line SHINOBI-TRAIN Operation Schedule

The JR Kusatsu Line SHINOBI-TRAIN is a 4-car, 1-set train that operates irregularly.
Originally, it was scheduled to be in operation until the end of September 2020, however, the impactful design serves as a good advertisement for the JR Kusatsu Line, and there have been many requests from the local people for the continuation of the line, so they decided to extend the period of operation until the end of June 2021.

In Shiga Prefecture, they are also planning a monitor tour where you can ride SHINOBI-TRAIN.
For details, please check the official SHINOBI-TRAIN site of Shiga Prefecture.

JR Kusatsu Line SHINOBI-TRAIN Summary

The SHINOBI-TRAIN is not only wrapped in ninja decal on the exterior, but the interior is also a literal ninja train full of ninja-esque design.
Ninja curtains are displayed on the hanging ads, and the electronic display board is also specific of the SHINOBI-TRAIN. It all makes for a very fun experience.
The crew members cosplay as ninjas, and at 1:04 in the video, you can see the local Mascot greeting tourists at the station. It's well received by children and foreigners.

The JR Kusatsu Line has direct service from Kyoto Station in the morning and evening, so transportation access is excellent!
However, the SHINOBI-TRAIN schedule is irregular and rare, so check the timetable on the official JR Kusatsu Line website for details.

Written By
Oct. 21, 2020
Japan
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
Japan's World-Famous Ninja Welcome You in the Form of a... Train? Take a Ride on the Limited Time Ninja Train in Shiga Prefecture, That's Been Extended by Popular Demand!
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