From shoes and socks and pens and notebooks to t-shirts and school bags and bedspreads, Sanrio’s Hello Kitty has been stamped over anything and everything, and the world loves it! The cute kawaii instantly cheers us up and brings us immeasurable joy. To spread this happiness even further, you can now ride a Hello Kitty bullet train in Japan! The quirky Kitty Chan shinkansen was a collaboration between creator Sanrio and JR West, and has been operating since 2018.
Picture a bubbly pink bullet train pulling into the station.
Even though all the carriages of the Hello Kitty bullet train have nuances and touches of the adorable Japanese character, the first two are the ones you want to go to if you want a cuteness-attack. Carriage 1, known as the Hello! Plaza is a store by Sanrio and has all kinds of Kitty Chan limited edition things, plus lots of gifts and collectibles for kids, and snacks for everyone. Three attendants are dressed in Hello Kitty merchandise and let you make the best of your time.
Carriage 2, called the Kawaii Room is a passenger carriage and is overwhelmingly dedicated to the character, with plush purple Kitty Chan themed chairs and window shutters. This is the only passenger carriage in the train which is completely decorated with Hello Kitty themed items. If you are hoarding the train for true kawaii indulgence, Carriage 2 should be your place.
The Hello Kitty bullet train runs once a day from Hakata to Shin-Osaka, and then vice versa. The journey is roughly four hours, and the shinkansen passes 6 prefectures. The train has 18 stops, so you can get off wherever you want or continue the whole tour.
The tickets aren’t hard to come by, either. The train has three reserved and three unreserved passenger carriages. To reserve your seat, you can buy the tickets on the morning of your journey itself. But hey, keep in mind that the loved Kawaii Room is unreserved!
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