In an area south of Los Angeles known as Dog Beach, the toy, a 4-inch-long model of the Shinkansen bullet train and only sold in Japan, was found by Yuji Keneko and his son Ryan, who lived in Yokohama and survived the March 11, 2011, earthquake 200 miles away, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Thursday.
Ryan, a fourth-grader, used to play with the same kind of toy train, the newspaper noted.
"I was so shocked. It was just weird. Then I realized it came through the ocean from Tohoku," the father said, referring to the area of northeastern Japan that was the epicenter of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
The family left for the United States five days after the quake.
In recent months a variety of articles from Japan, including refrigerators, trucks and a piece of a dock, have washed up in Washington and Oregon.