Setagaya city in Tokyo is distinguished for a number of reasons.

It has the highest residential population of all of Tokyo, it’s home to the huge Setagaya Park and is also home to Komazawa Olympic Park, which, as the name suggests, was built for Japan’s last winning Summer Olympic bid in 1964.

Setagaya is also one of the few remaining places in Tokyo that still has operating streetcars. Its Tamagawa tram line has operated for 110 years ever since the Tamagawa Electric Railway opened it in 1907. It closed in 1969 but reopened as the Setagaya line to connect Sangenjaya and Shimotakaido stations.

Tokyu Corporation is commemorating the tram line with a newly unveiled tram sure to be the cat’s meow to enthusiasts. Tokyu’s railroad planning division manager Yoshinari Hirae unveiled the tram painted to look like the famous beckoning cat statues used to bring good luck to businesses. The design was settled after the company decided to collaborate with the local Gotokuji Temple which is famous for enshrining the beckoning cats now seen around the world. Established in 1480, the shrine is located on the tram’s daily route and is recognized for making the beckoning cat famous.

Tourists visiting Setagaya can hop on the new cat tram until March.

Cats and trains go together perfectly in Japan. Nitama (Tama the 2nd) is the current Wakayama stationmaster and head of Kishi Station. She also just happens to be cat.

Source: The Japan Times
Top image: Pakutaso

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