Hello Kitty fans have something to rejoice about. West Japan Railway Co. announced it is going to start operating a Hello Kitty-themed shinkansen on June 30th.
Cuteness is big in Japan—so much so that the Japanese word for cute, kawaii, is understood around the world. Kawaii‘s most important ambassador is, needless to say, Sanrio’s Hello Kitty. The Hello Kitty character (full name, Kitty White) was designed by Yuko Yamaguchi and is now of course a multi-billion-dollar phenomenon.
The unique high speed train will invite guests in the playful world of Hello Kitty through distinctive design and style features on its first and second carriages. The first car of the train is called ‘Hello! Plaza’. This is where folks can mingle. Car two is called the ‘Kawaii! Room’. Here people can sit in separate seats while enjoying pink armrests, adorableness, and high-speed travel.
The venture between Sanrio and the Western Japan Railway Company is supposed to showcase regional points of interest and promote specialty goods. However the special bullet train also has a kawaii backstory.
According to the railway company’s website, the pink shinkansen is the product of Hello Kitty’s dream. She dreamt that she met the spirit of a ribbon, and asked it for help with her goal of connecting people. As soon as the ambassador of adorableness woke from this dream, she was dressed in a railway worker’s uniform, standing at a station, where there was a white bullet train wrapped in pink ribbons. She exclaimed, “Pink shinkansen!”
The new Shinkansen will start running on the Sanyo Shinkansen line from Osaka’s Shin-Osaka Station to Takata Station in Fukuoka from June 30th for a limited time only.