The Hello Kitty-themed Shinkansen bullet train has debuted in Japan. Decorated with the cartoon icon inside and out, it’s really a dream journey for fans of the internationally well-liked character.
Hello Kitty, the cute white and pink cartoon character, is a much loved figure in Japan since Yuko Shimizu created her in 1974. She has covered everything from coin purses to backpacks, vending machines, and now, a 320 km/h engineering marvel.
Early renderings show a train covered in a pink ribbon decal with Hello Kitty character designs greeting travellers at the entrances. On the inside, two cars would be turned into a world of pink, white, and purple. The first images from a press preview verifies that this vision has come true.
In the Kawaii! Room car, the West Japan Railway Co. is outfitting windows, walls, floors, head, and armrests in Hello Kitty garb, while riders who reserve a ticket will be able to take pictures in a themed photo booth with a giant Hello Kitty doll. In the seatless Hello! Plaza car, riders will be able to browse a marketplace of Japanese goods, making the train the ultimate tourist attraction.
The bespoke train, which shuttles between the Japanese cities of Osaka and Fukuoka, will only have a three-month run.