In the anime My Neighbor Totoro, the Catbus is a large, furry cat that is, well, a bus. But the Catbus isn't only the stuff of fantasy. There are a handful of real catbuses.
While there was an impressive one at Burning Man (apparently, a Subaru!), let's take a look at the catbuses spotted around Japan over the years.
From bakeries to car garages, a couple of businesses in Japan seem to be using catbuses to entice customers. Why catbuses? Everyone loves Totoro, that's why! One town in Hokkaido even has a "Totoro Ridge", which looks like a scene from the famed anime; visitors are carted up in a Catbus style painted bus.
Some pre-schools use catbuses to pick up and drop off little kids. In Japan, pre-school buses are typically very colorful to ease children's separation anxiety. That's why the buses are shaped like trains, dogs, or even Pikachu.
The Pikachu pre-school buses you see in Japan are probably licensed. The nondescript cat ones are vaguely like Totoro's Catbus and aren't official catbuses. In fact, none of the catbuses in Japan seem official. They do seem wonderful, though.
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