Tokyo-Miyazaki route gets special plane saluting regional Pokémon mascot.

Pokémon is very much a worldwide hit, with passionate fanbases present around the globe. Still, nowhere is the franchise’s mainstream appeal as high as it is in its native country of Japan. Sure, you can find Pokémon toys and video games jut about anywhere, but there’s now a Pokémon airplane flying the skies of Japan.

Last Saturday was the first flight of Miyazaki-based airline Solaseed Air’s Exeggutor plane, decked out with artwork depicting Grass/Psychic/Dragon-type Pocket Monster Exeggutor in both stout standard and elongated Alolan forms.

Exeggutor is Miyazaki’s representative Pokémon, so chosen because of his resemblance to its prefectural tree, the phoenix palm. Before branching out into aviation, Exeggutor was also selected for the Pokémon Manhole Cover (Pokéfuta) project, with nine designs being installed in Miyazaki in October.

Following a pre-takeoff ceremony for its inaugural flight, the Pokémon plane carried passengers on Solaseed’s 10:05 a.m. flight from Miyazaki Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda. Travelers were given commemorative certificates as well as specially prepared souvenirs, and upon boarding settled into seats with headrest covers graced by the prefectural Pokémon.

It’s not just air transportation that Exeggutor is involved in either. On the same day, three Pokémon busses began running in Miyazaki City and the nearby towns of Miyakonojo and Nobeoka.

Oh, and if a trip to Japan or Miyazaki isn’t in your immediate travel plans, don’t worry, as both the Exeggutor plane and busses are scheduled to be in operation for at least the next 18 months.

Sources: PR Times (1, 2, 3)
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times (1, 2, 3)
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