The Yokai Train is a somewhat scary summer attraction in Kyoto, Japan. One of the electrical trains is boarded by creepy monsters that try to scare children out of their wits.
If you were looking for a way to scare a spoiled brat into submission, look no further that the monster train of Kyoto, an eerie attraction where yokai (Japanese monsters) become real. For kids at least, because any grown-up can tell they’re actually actors wearing white kimonos and scary masks. The custom was introduced by the Keifuku Electric Railroad company, in 2007, and was so popular that it became an eagerly awaited yearly tradition.
The outside of the train is painted with traditional Japanese monsters, while the interior is fitted with spooky blue lights and human hands hanging from the ceiling. As the Yokai Train leaves the station, a spooky sounds can be heard coming from the speakers, and the monsters make their entrance. Some are dressed in white kimonos and wear white masks and triangular white crowns (which means they are dead), while others sport creepy masks and torn rags. Some of the older kids react pretty well to the yokai, but the younger ones cry and scream while their mothers and the other adults watch and smile. It sounds a bit cruel, but by the last station of the tour most children make friends with the monsters.
It’s said the Yokai Train, like other themed train rides, was introduced to revitalize the urban areas it passes through, but there are those who say it’s just a way to scare children so they can feel cooler in the hot summer nights. If you’re in Kyoto this August and are up for a ride on the Yokai Train, you should know it will run until August 28th, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.