This post is photo heavy...
One of the places we wanted to go was to Wakayama, to ride the Tama Train. This train is designed to look like a cat, and the station master is a cat. The original Tama died in 2015, but Tama the second has taken over. Tama the fourth is apprenticing at another station.
Tama the third's owner decided they couldn't part with her, so she never took office :)
We arrived at Wakayama, which was about an hour from Osaka. Then we looked for the Wakayama Electric Railway line, which thankfully, was marked with a cat icon on the signs!
There were cats marking our path to the right platform
Platform 9 it is...
Beautiful countryside as we traveled along...
Kishi station is the last one on the line. Tama is here!
Everything Tama!! This railway line was about to be out of business. They fired all the station masters, and had volunteers business owners assume the role. This station decided to have a cat as their station master. The cat brought in tourist and basically saved the line!
Nitama, or Tama the second on duty.
Cat shaped snacks from the cafe...very tasty.
Shrine to the original Tama. Her ashes are entombed here.
If you step across the street, you can see the building is shaped like a cat too!
We wanted to ride the cat train, so we had to kill time at the station. There isn't anything to do in the town. There are four themed trains on the line. Umeboshi (pickled plums), Strawberries, and toys. This area is known for growing plums and strawberries.
Finally, the Tama train approaches! We rode the Plum train on the first trip.
The outside is decorated with over 100 Tama designs...
Inside there are cats and cat fabrics everywhere!
We stopped off to see Tama the fourth, or Yontama.
Her station master hat...
We had to wait about 30 minutes before another train would come by to take us back to Wakayama, so we looked around the station some and thought about what we were going to do once back to civilization :)
Next week, Wakayama the city