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You have no idea how hard it is to find an image containing both a train and spring flowers that doesn’t involve one of the Disney properties or the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Failing to find a suitable picture of choo-choos and blooms in close proximity, I happened upon a colorfully-decorated train from Japan, the land of whimsical public transportation.

This commuter-friendly art was a winner of the 2007 Odakyu Railway 80th Anniversary “Train Design Contest,” which collected drawings from children across Japan. The top two entries were used to decorate real trains! The train in the banner wears Nanako Kato’s “Let’s All Ride Together,” a cheery tableau of animals on a sunny yellow background. It makes me happier just looking at it.

Like every train appearing on the Frederation banner, this one runs on subjective time, which passes a lot slower for the young and the young at heart.

The original image and details about the contest can be found here, at the archived site of, an online magazine of Japanese modern art and pop culture that, sadly, went on indefinite hiatus in December, 2008.


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