Meet the five most popular (and fuzziest) train station masters in Japan.

You may have heard of Tama, the station master cat from Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture. She performed her job of ensuring passenger safety, keeping away mice, and licking herself clean for 16 years before she passed away in 2015.

▼ “K u can have train now. Unless you are mouse. Then I eat.”

As funny as it may seem to have a cat be a station master, Tama actually did some good work revitalizing her local area through tourism. So many people came to visit just to see her that Wakayama Electric Railway even created trains in the likeness of the famous cat herself.

▼ 1:00 to 2:00 have some great shots
of the inside and outside of the Tama Train.

But Tama wasn’t the only adorable animal station master in Japan. There are plenty more. Here are some of the more popular ones:

1. Nitama (Kishi Station, Wakayama Prefecture)

Yup, this is the same station that Tama herself served valiantly for many years. Nitama (literally “Tama Two”) was trained to be Tama’s successor once the station workers saw that she was getting sick.

Some might say that Tama can have no successor, and that Nitama is just a replacement. But for the many people who loved Tama, having a new fluffy friend to greet them at the station probably made grieving their loss a little bit easier.

Plus, Nitama has a very distinctive style of station-mastering that is completely different from Tama’s.

▼ It involves a heavy regimen of cat-napping,
taking breaks, and falling asleep on the job.

2. Mocchii (Miyachi Station, Yamagata Prefecture)

You don’t have to be a cat to be a station master. Mocchii proves that if you put your mind to anything and believe in yourself, you can succeed… even if you’re a bunny!

Mocchii helps run Miyauchi Station on the Nagai Flower Line. Mocchii has been stationed there since August 2010 and is still going strong.

▼ Here are some photos of Mocchii doing important
station work… like hopping around and looking cute.

Mocchii even has an official Twitter account you can follow if you’d like to keep up with all of the Mocchii family rabbit antics.

3. Ryoma (Shiwaguchi Station, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Arguably one of the most popular station master cats in Japan after Tama and Nitama is Ryoma at Shiwaguchi Station on the Geibi Line in Hiroshima.

The station celebrated 10,000 fans coming to visit Ryoma earlier this year, and it looks like Ryoma will be going strong to welcome tens of thousands more.

▼ One of Ryoma’s favorite activities:
falling asleep while being fanned with pictures of himself.

4. Rabu (Ashinomaki-Onsen Station, Fukushima Prefecture)

Rabu is one of the youngest members on the list at only just barely two years old. He works at the Ashinomaki-Onsen Station on the Aizu line in Fukushima.

Because of his young age, Rabu isn’t exactly proficient at his job yet. He mostly spends his days chasing birds and running away from the loud trains. Just give him some time though, he’ll get used to the difficult job of flopping and lounging around.

▼ There ya go, Rabu.
That’s how the pros do it.

Rabu also has an official Twitter account, so feel free to follow him for some adorable antics from the kitten station master.

5. Hotofu (Kichigahara Station, Okayama Prefecture)

Hotofu bears the distinction of being the successor to Tama’s friendly feline rival: Kotora. Kotora was appointed station master of Kichigahara Station in 2005, and Tama wasn’t offificially sworn in until 2007, technically making Kotora the first official station master cat in Japan.

▼ Kotora has since retired due to old age, but still comes in
on slow days to greet passengers and sit on comfy things.

But the rest of the week it’s up to Hotofu, the new station master, to keep guests’ spirits high and make sure that plenty of naps are getting done around the station.

Hotofu is still relatively new to the job though, so as expected he’s not quite used to it.

▼ “Ugh. Another train woke me up.
How many of these things need to come by every day? Sheesh.”

Could station master cats be the way of the future? It seems like one Japanese company is already taking it to the next logical level: a cat monitoring security system. What’s next? Cat collars that we have to wear around our necks? That would be paws-itively crazy.

Source: Naver Matome
Featured/top image: Wikimedia Commons/Sanpei