All About Japan

Hop on the Trolly with JR Shinkansen Undies

| Trains , Shopping

Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train network started with the Tokaido Shinkansen line, which runs between Tokyo and Osaka. Since then service has continually expanded and now stretches all the way from Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan to the northern island of Hokkaido, and now comes the newest potential Shinkansen stop: your underwear.

Japanese railfan Internet portal Shuppatsu Shinko has created what it’s dubbing “Teppan,” from testudo pantsu (literally "train underwear").

For the initial offerings, the pelvic-area salutes are being given to a pair of the most dynamic looking Shinkansen designs, starting the Hayabusa train which runs north from Tokyo Station to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, currently the northernmost bullet train stop.

If you want a more vibrant shade than the Hayabusa teal, there’s the Komachi design, modeled after the crimson Shinkansen that carries passengers between Tokyo and Akita Station, and is the only bullet train that services the Akita Shinkansen line.

While some companies in Japan produce train-themed underwear for kids, Shuppatsu Shinko’s Teppan come in adult sizes as well, and the company proudly says they’re “Designs that not only railfans, but ordinary people as well, can thoroughly enjoy.”

Given their unique prints, some might feel a little self-conscious slipping on a pair of Teppan, what with the sleek shaft of a bullet train bearing a resemblance to a certain part of the male anatomy. However, the designers appear to have foreseen such potential awkwardness, and so the front of the train actually appears on the back of the underwear, and vice-versa, so as not to make it seem like the Shinkansen is barreling out of your crotch.

Teppan, which are officially licensed by Shinkansen operator Japan Railways, aren’t currently available in stores, but are being offered through a campaign on crowdfunding sight Makuake here, with tiers for adult sizes starting at ¥2,640 (US$25) and kids sizes at ¥2,200. And since just two pairs of underwear isn’t enough to get you through wash cycles, if you’re looking for more symbols of Japan for this part of your wardrobe, there’s always the Pokémon underwear lineup.

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