Right after the hanami season, and with the Golden Week just begun, which this year it will also include the celebrations for the establishment of the new emperor, Japan is getting ready for the summer season with a very special collaboration.
The Japanese railway company JR (Japan Railways), has indeed decided to celebrate the “neverending” 90th birthday of the most beloved Disney character, with a special shinkansen (the company’s high-speed train).
The special bullet train, dubbed “Go! Waku Waku Trip with Mickey” (that should sound more or less like: “Exciting and fun trip with Mickey”), will run the full length of Kyushu island between Hakata station in Fukuoka and Kagoshima, stopping also at Kumamoto, along the Kyushu Shinkansen line.
This special train, created in collaboration with Disney, will consist of six fully decorated carriages (both outside and inside) with graphics of Micky Mouse, ready for a Japanese-style summer vacation with a stylish straw hat – similar to those worn by local schoolchildren – and a loaded suitcase of traditional items from the island, such as watermelons, a bathing bowl, and a local map.
The Mickey Shinkansen service will be launched on May 17th 2019 with an invitation-only service, before beginning regular service from May 18th onwards, till November.
In addition to the specially designed trains, the collaboration will also see the launch of a collection of limited-edition merchandise which will include: notebooks, stationary, pin badges, tote bags, keyrings and a toy Shinkansen decorated with the Mickey mural design seen on the interior and exterior of the train carriages. The range will be exclusively on sale during the duration of the campaign, on the bullet trains themselves, in the stations of the route, and in the nearby shopping centres.
This collaboration is an intelligent advertising campaign for JR, as well as an excellent promotion system for the Kyushu region. The Japanese railway company is not new to this clever use of licensing, actually, this new service will carry on the tradition of previous JR campaigns featuring beloved animation characters like: Hello Kitty, Evangelion, Pikachu, Doraemon, Moomin, Gegege no Kitaro, Sonic etc.