Japan’s iconic Hello Kitty will soon feature on one of its bullet trains. The new ‘Hello Kitty Shinkansen’ service will be launched by West Japan Railway later this year. The line will connect Osaka and Fukuoka.
Hello Kitty, the globally recognized face of cuteness was introduced in 1974. It is now one of the country’s most famous exports among young girls. The character’s image can be seen printed on everything from pencils to pajamas. The popular character from Sanrio Co. will now be featured on an eight-car Kodama train.
Japan’s bullet trains are already envied by much of the world thanks to their incredible speed and reliability. In 2015, Japan released it’s first themed bullet train with the Neon Genesis Evangelion-themed train. This is set to continue this May with the new Hello Kitty line.
Hello Kitty Fans Rejoice
The rail company JR West will collaborate with Sanrio to decorate the exterior of the bullet train with the character’s image and trademark red ribbon. The interior of Car No. 2 will have full Hello Kitty decorations, that are said to be done both “snappily and adorably,” according to the company.
Sanrio has already collaborated with other transport companies, such as a sightseeing bus operator and an airplane company, to launch the ‘Hello Kitty bus’, and the ‘Hello Kitty jet.’
Car No. 1 is to have no passenger seats, instead selling local specialties, including a selection of food and items from the intended destinations. This is being done in a bid to boost both the local economy and its tourism. The trains can reach a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour and will run for a limited time this summer. Tickets are set to cost around $120 (USD).