2019.1.28
Art

You can’t help getting excited about a ride on the cute, pink “Hello Kitty Shinkansen.” Don’t miss this special limited Kitty design. / JR-WEST (West Japan Railway Company)

Do you know that there is a Shinkansen with a Hello Kitty design, one of the most famous characters in the world?
You can ride this special Shinkansen almost every day between Shin-Osaka and Hakata on JR-WEST.

500 series Shinkansen train-cars are fully decorated with Hello Kitty!

You will be so fascinated that you cannot help but gaze at the train once you see it arrive at the platform!
Even the salarymen in nice suits take pictures of Hello Kitty Shinkansen, with its white & pink decoration.
Does that shock you?
A famous French fashion magazine and a U.K. TV newscast have reported on this “too cute” Shinkansen with excitement.

Hello Kitty is always promoting Western Japan!

This Shinkansen is not only cute and attractive to people, but also offers wishes and hopes for Western Japan.
You can see a special Hello Kitty design featuring some local regions on each train-car, from the 1st to the 8th, connected with about 200m of pink ribbon.
It conveys the hope “to link a lot of smiles by connecting people to the area of Western Japan” because some areas of Western Japan suffered from natural disasters, such as heavy rains, earthquakes, and so on in 2018.

Hello Kitty is everywhere inside!

The 1st car is the “HELLO! PLAZA” where you can do shopping, and 2nd car is the “KAWAII ROOM, ” which is a cabin decorated with Hello Kitty images.
You can see the interior decoration of the “KAWAII ROOM” in the picture above.
There are a lot of Hello Kitty images here and there, on the floor, walls, and even in the baggage storage area!

Also, you can find Hello Kitty on the blinds for the windows and head rests on the seats!
Well, how many Hello Kittys will you find…???

Don’t miss the most Instagramable spot on the train!

There is a space where you can take a picture with Hello Kitty in a conductor’s uniform!
You often see a long queue for this on weekends or holidays, but not on weekdays (mostly)!

[sf_divisionnext_title=”There are shop and café on the train!”]

A Hello Kitty shop and café are on the train, for the first time ever in JR history!

Maybe many people have been thinking: “I wish there was a shop that sold original items on the train….”
And yes, this train has made people’s (especially Hello Kitty fans) dream come true!
The 1st train car has been turned into a whole shop, “HELLO! PLAZA.”
You can find various kinds of Hello Kitty goods, especially those made in collaboration with 8 prefectures of Western Japan.

The collaboration with a chosen area will vary depending on the season.
And don’t miss the limited edition and rare items which you only can buy on this Shinkansen!
The item in the picture is “Strawberry eggs on the moon,” which is a collaboration of Hello Kitty with a popular sweet from Yamaguchi prefecture, “the eggs found on the moon.”
You can buy these kinds of limited-edition items on ONLY at “HELLO! PLAZA.”

Even adults will forget themselves…!

One thing which even adults are very enthusiastic to try is the capsule-toy vending machine!
Put in a 500-yen coin for one capsule, and turn the handle……, you can only guess what is inside!

When you get the capsule and open it……., the one we got is a pin badge of Kitty.
Of course this one is a limited-edition design, a collaboration with one of the Western Japan prefectures, in this case Kitty from Tottori prefecture holding a Japanese pear!
Sooooo cute!

Now for the stamp rally! Collect a series of stamps, which can be done digitally!
Take your smartphone and scan the QR code at the café.
Please ask the staff there how to play!

The café space surrounded by Hello Kitty!

Not only do they sell Kitty items in “HELLO! PLAZA,” but also there is a café space where you can have some drinks such as coffee.
The attendants are wearing cute pink Hello Kitty aprons, of course!

Many foreign tourists are experiencing the Hello Kitty Shinkansen!
However, most foreigners do not expect to ride this special Shinkansen, and are using a “JAPAN RAIL PASS” to travel around Japan by “Kodama Shinkansen,” and just happen to get in.
When they find out that their Shinkansen is the Hello Kitty version, they are very excited to get on and thankful for their luck!
Girls especially are so fascinated by various kinds of Hello Kitty images inside of the cars.

One more bit of special “Kitty” information

There is also a cute, special lunch box called “The Hello Kitty Shinkansen Lunch Box (1,500yen)”!
The main course in this lunch box is sukiyaki, and the container is made of earthenware.
However, you only can get these at the Awajiya store in Kobe Station, Shin-Kobe Station or Nishi-Akashi Station, and sometimes they are sold out.
Therefore, if you really would like to get this special lunch, please make a reservation for it in the morning 3 days before you plan to ride the Shinkansen. **

*The JAPAN RAIL PASS is the most economical means of travelling throughout Japan by rail, offered by the six companies comprising the JR Group. Only tourists from abroad can use this pass on JR lines and the Shinkansen, EXCEPT for the Nozomi and Mizuho trains.
http://japanrailpass.net

** Please check the website of Awajiya for the Hello Kitty Shinkansen Lunch Box (however, it’s only in Japanese for now).
http://www.awajiya.co.jp


Hello Kitty Shinkansen
“Kodama 730” departing from Hakata on 6:40 and arriving at Shin-Osaka on 11:13 and “Kodama 741” departing from Shin-Osaka on 11:29 and arriving at Hakata on 15:38 are the Hello Kitty Shinkansens.
Please purchase tickets from the website, ticket-vending machines, or the JR ticket counter.
The 2nd car decorated with Hello Kitty is for Unreserved seats.

※Please check for the detailed information about the Hello Kitty Shinkansen on the official website. https://www.jr-hellokittyshinkansen.jp

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Written by

Akiko Isonaga

Akiko Isonaga

Akiko Isonaga

I was born and raised in Hiroshima, but my mother's hometown is on Kojima island, Ehime prefecture. When I was little, I used to climb up on the roof of an orange warehouse and gaze at the picturesque islands of Seto. They were really beautiful. Now that I'm a bit older, I’m happy to be able to spend time working as a photo-writer and conveying the beauty and charm of the Seto Inland Sea. As well as writing at home, I live a short walk from the World Heritage site of Miyajima, I also work as a teacher and am currently studying color psychology.

URL: http://isonaga.wixsite.com/ikka

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