HOME Kansai Wakayama Wakayama, Koyasan Japan Launches Limited Express Panda Train: “Sustainable Smile Train” to Run From July 2020
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Japan Launches Limited Express Panda Train: “Sustainable Smile Train” to Run From July 2020

Japan Launches Limited Express Panda Train: “Sustainable Smile Train” to Run From July 2020

Date published: 19 July 2020
Last updated: 13 November 2020

JR West Japan and Adventure World (Shirahama-cho, Wakayama) have collaborated to launch a new train design from July 23, 2020, and that design is in the form of a crazy cute panda! With the theme of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in mind, the new design is intended to run until 2023, departing from Kyoto Station.

The affectionately named “Panda Kuroshio” (Panda Black & White) train was created by the two companies with the desire to meet people, inspire smiles, and contribute to a safe, secure and prosperous future. They hope to be able to build relationships with everyone involved with the train, from the passengers and workers right through to the communities where the train passes through.

Did You Notice...? Design Quirks on the Panda Kuroshio Train

Did You Notice...? Design Quirks on the Panda Kuroshio Train

Of course, the first thing we all notice about this design is the giant panda face on the front, but if you look closely you’ll see that there is a cute little panda sitting on its head! This is a parent and child panda family (adorable)!

The idea of the parent and child together is a symbol of the “sustainable smile” being passed down through generations.

The design also features different colors and designs on each carriage, ranging from green for health and security to red for gender equality.

Green train for health and safety
Red train for gender equality

Head Straight for Animal Adventures! Travel to Adventure World

Head Straight for Animal Adventures! Travel to Adventure World

As JR West has teamed up with Adventure World, it seems only fitting that their main design be a little panda family! Adventure World in Wakayama has around 1,400 animals in their park, with 140 different species. The aim of the park is to create a bright and prosperous future, and they have succeeded in breeding various rare animals such as Giant Pandas. They are consistently working on conservation research at the same time.

This links back to the train’s concept of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). A big part of these goals is to create a richer relationship between humans, animals and nature. By literally connecting people to nature by heading to Adventure World, perhaps it will spark a love of nature and animals from a young age, resulting in a more active participation in conservation, too!

Launch and Running Information

1. Period of Operation
July 23, 2020 - Winter 2023 (TBC)

2. Train Type
287 series 1 formation (6-car) *No Green Car or Women-Only Seating

3. Lines, Stations and Trains Involved
Kyoto Station (Tokaido Main Line) to Shingu Station (Kise Main Line) via Shin-Osaka/Tennoji/Wakayama
*Trains and applicable areas may vary by day
・On the first day of operation, July 23, 2020, the Kurushio Nos. 3,6,25, and 26 will be in use.
・The daily driving "Panda Kuroshio" (Kuroshio Nos. 3,6,25, and 26) will be driven as either "Panda Kuroshio ‘Smile Adventure Train’" or "Panda Kuroshio ‘Sustainable Smile Train’".

4. Further Details
The train schedule will be announced on the official Twitter page the day before.
Twitter account: Panda Kuroshio Schedule (Official, Japanese):
ID: @JRpandakuroshio
・Further details of the Panda Kuroshio will be announced on the dedicated page of “Odekake Net”:
https://www.jr-odekake.net/railroad/kuroshio/pandakuroshio/
*The "Panda Kuroshio 'Sustainable Smile Train'" page will be open by July 23.

Reference: PR Times

Written by:

Cassandra Lord

Cassandra Lord

Cassandra is a British writer and translator living the residential life just outside of Tokyo. She loves finding out hidden things about Japan, and more importantly sniffing out the best food! She's never satisfied with just one hobby, and spends her time finding out new ways to use her creative skills – though the most pertinent here might be her love of Japanese calligraphy!

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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