Super kawaii! Japan's high-speed trains, already the envy of the world, are set to become more so (at least to a certain segment of the population) when a limited edition Hello Kitty Shinkansen pulls out of the station. Yes, if you're a superfan of the beloved Sanrio character, riding the Hello Kitty train is about to appear on your travel bucket list — next to flying in a Hello Kitty airplane, shopping at a Hello Kitty grocery store and sleeping in a Hello Kitty hotel room.
Japanese railway company JR-West wants to strengthen ties between the regions served by its shinkansen (or, "bullet train") service between the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka, and so has come up with the idea of teaming up with Sanrio, Hello Kitty's creators. So far we only have renderings to gaze at but the livery of one of the train company's 500-series "Kodama" trains will be decorated with a long pink ribbon and cartoon images of the anthropomorphic cat/girl, which, the company claims, will "send charm" across the region.
One of the train’s "unique features," according to Japan Times, will be "the absence of passenger seats in car No. 1, which will be dedicated to sales of local specialties." The second car will have full Hello Kitty decorations.
Introduced in 1974, worldwide fascination with Hello Kitty shows no signs of flagging. The cute cat's image adorns everything from latte art to sneakers, cell phones and toasters. And if you think normal hospitals just aren't cute, or pink, enough, you can even give birth in a Hello Kitty-themed maternity ward.
Start getting excited and a taste of the full Hello Kitty Shinkansen experience with this adorable promotional video:
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