10 Overly Cute Japanese School Buses That Go the Extra Smile

Too cute for school? Not in Japan, where settling at mere cuteness means you're not trying hard enough. That high-pitched sound you're hearing isn't a school bus in need of a brake job, just its pint-sized passengers squealing “KAWAII!” in unison.  


1) Pikachu School Bus

Kids love Pokemon; school, not so much. Add a bit of the former and they'll be sure to like the latter! And so the Pikachu School Bus was born. One added bonus is that it's yellow, not that many Japanese school buses follow that color-coding dictum. Now if only the bus ran on electric power... (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Japan Sugoi)


2) Thomas the Tank Engine School Bus

The long-running children's TV program Thomas & Friends, featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and a host of fellow railway cars plus the odd human being like Sir Topham Hat has achieved worldwide popularity over the past 25 years. Japan is a hotbed of Thomas fandom so this Thomas the Tank Engine school bus makes perfect sense. One drawback: if it should ever overheat while stuck in traffic, nobody will think anything's wrong. (Cute Japanese School Bus image via MyMapOfJapan)


3) Puppy School Bus

The Puppy School Bus displays some very extensive customizing using fiberglass body mods that have to cost a pretty penny, er, yen. It sure looks a lot better than the "Shaggin’ Wagon", Harry Dunne's dog-grooming delivery wagon, but would you trade it for a scooter? (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Rightvswrong)


4) Hello Kitty School Bus

Well you knew this was coming, right? And, you can bet the inside of the Hello Kitty School Bus is just as pink and sweet and sugary as the outside. One wonders what the male children think of riding around in so obviously feminine a vehicle, not that there's anything wrong with that. Do they gaze out the window in envy when the Gundam School Bus drives by? (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Hello Kitty Wallpapers)


5) Blue Whale School Bus

Manoeuvering a school bus full of noisy kids through big city traffic without getting t-boned is tough enough, but the driver of the Blue Whale School Bus has to avoid getting harpooned as well. Seriously, this is Japan,they EAT whales there - talk about being a moving target!


6) Locomotive School Bus

Add enough molded fiberglass adornments to a plain-jane school bus and you've got a fair representative of a classic steam locomotive... OK, kindergarten kiddies are kind of easy to fool. Regardless, the Locomotive School Bus is all kinds of awesome - imagine riding to and from school on a freakin' train! Only way to top that is to paint an actual train yellow with black trim and a Stop sign. (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Crozynski)


7) Totoro Neko Bus

This might not be the most accurate recreation of the Neko Bus from Miyazaki's animated film My Neighbor Totoro (there was a better one at Burning Man), but it's close enough for your average 5-year-old. Those ears really stand out... and in doing so, probably shave a couple of mles per gallon off the bus's fuel economy rating. (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Pokoroto)


8) Teddy Bear School Bus

It's safe to say some school buses in Japan provide the bare necessities... or should I say, the "bear" necessities. The Teddy Bear School Bus utilizes a complementary combination of fiberglass custom add-ons and painted fore- and hind-legs along the sides. Finish it off with an overcoat of Winnie the Pooh brown, er, bruin paint and you've got one honey of a school bus! (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Automotive Enterprises)


9) Pussycat School Bus

Cat got your tongue?... More like "Cat got your kids!" This is one of the better looking Cat School Buses (there are indeed a few of them) on Japanese roads, not including the aforementioned Hello Kitty School Bus. Can you imagine one Cat School Bus driver who moonlights as a bank robber and uses his bus as his getaway vehicle? I'm waiting for the day a concerned citizen chases after him... in a temporarily borrowed Dog School Bus. (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Savage Pencil)


10) Airliner School Bus

Now THIS is the school bus of school buses... it's so cool, it doesn't even bother with the supposedly de rigueur yellow-orange paint job. Round porthole-style windows and a jetliner winged tail complete the picture. Even school bus drivers have to be impressed by this wild ride - you can't force them to wear an airliner pilot's uniform when driving but y'know, I think they'd be more than happy to do so. (Cute Japanese School Bus image via Hot Car Zone)

Oct 26, 2011
by Anonymous

pikachu FTW!

pikachu FTW!

Oct 29, 2011
by Anonymous

That last bus looks like the space shuttle, not an airliner

That last bus looks like the space shuttle, not an airliner.

Nose detail similar to shuttle, plus orbital maneuvering thrusters.

"USA" and US flag on the wing.

De-orbit thruster pods on top rear.

Wing and rudder details similar to shuttle, such as the black outlines.

Oct 30, 2011
by Anonymous

There is one missing...

The Pedobear Bus!!

Dec 29, 2011
by Anonymous


i love the buses !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$

Feb 10, 2012
by Anonymous