Mayumi Tanaka, who voices the character of Luffy, calls out, and the train with an exterior featuring the popular Straw Hat Pirates appears, then departs from Takamori Station in Takamori, Kumamoro Prefecture, on the morning on Nov. 27. (Video taken by Masaru Komiyaji and Tazuko Goto)

TAKAMORI, Kumamoto Prefecture--“One Piece” creator Eiichiro Oda, one of Kumamoto’s favorite sons, teamed with Minami-Aso Railway Co. for a special sightseeing train themed on the popular manga title to support the disaster-hit region’s rail company.

The “One Piece” train embarked on its maiden journey on Nov. 27 after the project proposed by the Takamori town government came to fruition.

The departure ceremony was part of the Minami-Aso Railway’s reconstruction festival, held in front of Takamori Station, where comedians and other performers entertained spectators.

With a rallying cry to overcome the trials of the disaster, Mayumi Tanaka, who voices the “One Piece” anime’s main character Luffy, called out, “Let’s bear up! Go.”

The train then set off just after 9:30 a.m., carrying about 50 passengers.

The train runs on a section of tracks between Takamori and Nakamatsu stations that was reconstructed after the devastating series of earthquakes struck the region in April.

Depictions of not only the popular Straw Hat Pirates, almost too big to fit in the picture frame, but also Mount Nekodake and other local landmarks are featured on the train’s exterior.

The train is scheduled to operate daily through Feb. 28.