Next stop, Shichikokuyama Hospital!
On the streets of Hiroshima, there resides a hero who has recreated the Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro. We do not know the identity of said hero, but what they have created is magical.
In a video shared by Twitter user @ryouta_3 on June 22, they recorded a person riding a Cat Bus modified bicycle on the sidewalk near the Kokutai-ji Temple in Hiroshima Prefecture.
— かっきー (@ryouta_3) June 22, 2018
The contraption itself looks like a bicycle with maybe a cart attached in the back (the smaller wheels kind of imply as such). And if that is a cart in the back, do they offer rides?
But the main story isn’t the bicycle, it’s the Cat Bus. And my god, it is beautiful. For a fan-created work, you’ve really got to hand it to them. The Cat Bus’ eyes light up, its got the right number of legs, and all of the markings match the Cat Bus from Totoro. Do I wish it had a sign on the front of it? Yeah…a lot actually. But what’s amazing/absolute nightmare fuel is that its head moves.
God, I wasn’t expecting that.
— ゆうこりん (@x_qf2o) June 24, 2018
But maybe what I find most mysterious about this Cat Bus contraption is its history in social media. While @Ryouta_3’s post blew this story up, this Cat Bus had been seen before. From what I can tell, two Twitter users, @fundoshiFever and @tuka3737, posted about the Cat Bus a few hours before @Ryouta_3.
But then I did some digging (doing a Twitter photo search for Cat Bus) and I found it again…in June of 2014. No really, that’s it. There are three tweets/photos in June of 2014, by @ameco_nemui and @k1s1n on June 7, 2014, and then again by @iwonn_mm_myf on June 27, 2014, all of which are displayed below.
— ハセガワ告知 (@ameco_nemui) June 8, 2014
— けー子さん (@k1s1n) June 8, 2014
— 神宮寺いをん (@iwonn_mm_myf) June 27, 2014
Absolutely tragic that the Chuu-Totoro (Blue) and Chibi-Totoro (White) didn’t make it.
Given how freaking cool this thing is, I seriously doubt it went undocumented for four years. So, who knows? Maybe it only comes out every four years. Given that this is a super unofficial reproduction, maybe the person doesn’t want to be caught?
But hey, if you’re in Hiroshima in June of 2022, keep your eyes open.
The Cat Bus might be right behind you.